When we hear about a challenge a loved one is facing, a common first response is to offer help. We jump to provide meals and transportation, take care of errands, regularly check-in, and even cover bills.
But when a tough time comes around for ourselves, the idea of asking for help makes most of us cringe or feel shame. (How society conditions us to punish and not want better for ourselves is a deeper, different article.) In this article we’ll break down some easy and important ways to get around the mental roadblock and facilitate some care for yourself.
Preparing oneself for what lies ahead is a sign of strength.
So we’re re-framing the idea of “asking for help" as Preparing for Success. Let’s talk about how to prepare for the most successful outcome, whether you’re welcoming a new baby, having a surgery, facing an illness, or moving to a new home.
I recently had “routine" surgery. Despite being no stranger to the procedure, and having days off work scheduled for recovery, I created a Give InKind support page to help with accountability. And I’m so glad I did. With my InKind Page tailored to suit my exact needs, spirits have been surprisingly high thanks to all the incoming support.
With an InKind Page, there are many features available to help prepare for success.
- The Wishlist allows for requesting and sending gifts and gift cards that will help along the way.
- The Care Calendar schedules any and every kind of support needed.
- Fundraising options connect generous donors with easy payment methods, and
- Updates keep everyone on the same page throughout the process.
Here’s how I used my InKind Page to set myself up for success after surgery.
After customizing the page with all my needs and preferences, I shared the link with my circle of friends.
Meals and more through the Care Calendar
Meals were something we already had covered. Being on a liquid diet really kept things simple, so I didn’t necessarily need a meal train. What I did need was some accountability throughout the day. Having an assortment of medicines to regularly take, on top of staying fueled and hydrated was a busy schedule to manage, especially under the influence of pain medication.
I used the Care Calendar to set up twice daily check-ins. Friends would text or facetime at the time they signed up for. They would make sure I was on schedule with my medicine and staying hydrated. We would chat a bit then I would go back to resting. It was a really reassuring feeling to know I was not alone in keeping track of my vital post-surgical care. And that my wife could focus on work and not also trying to track my schedule during the day.
It was also a great opportunity to personally connect with some friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the Care Calendar filled up almost immediately. And I was pleasantly surprised by who signed up to help.
Wishlist and Fundraising
Gift cards and fundraising were not types of support that I needed for this situation, so I used the Page Settings options to turn them off. The flexibility of displaying these options made me feel comfortable sharing my InKind Page with friends to ask for support. They could see by the options on the page that I just wanted accountability, so their support could be channeled where it was most useful.
Through the InKind Page Updates I have been able to notify everyone how the journey is progressing. The Updates can be seen by everyone who signed up to help, everyone who followed the page, and anyone who visits the page in the future.
Healing, eating, medicating, hydrating, supported.
I know myself. And thanks to taking a moment to consider what I might need help with before going into a challenging situation, and thanks to being proactive enough to share those needs with some willing helpers, I actually spent that crucial first week post-surgery thriving. The old me would have quickly fallen behind on medicating and hydrating. I would have wallowed in the discomfort and not felt motivated to do much about it.
Thanks to the support of my wonderful friends keeping me accountable. And thanks to the accountability built into my InKind Page that efficiently organized and reminded my supporters when it was time to check in.
Yes you can do it yourself, but this is proof people want to help.
Taking care of a person is a full time job. Sending a text or making a facetime call is a relatively easy thing to set aside some time for. Breaking down your support into manageable bits makes it easy for friends and family to make a big difference without an excessive amount of effort.
Create an InKind Page. It’s free, it’s here to help.
My InKind Page really made a surprising boost to my recovery effort. I should know better; we see it happen every day here at Give InKind, communities uplifting each other. But I finally took a dose of my own medicine and set up a page for my needs, and it really is as heartwarming as they say.
Also, no one shamed or ridiculed me for asking for support. Some even thanked me for sharing the opportunity for them to help. Others appreciated the example of preparing for success and will do so for themselves in the future.
You’ve got nothing to lose, and Give InKind is here to help the helpers.
If you’re interesting in getting started, here’s a guide to How to create a Give InKind Page for a Post-Surgical Patient
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.