5 ways to take care of yourself

Advice for carers

A recent Care UK study found that 62 per cent of carers said their caring responsibilities limit the amount of time they have and the amount of time taken for themselves.

Whether you’re a full time carer or are balancing your responsibilities with a full-time job, it’s important to care for yourself too with the help of these tips below:

  1.  Coping with stress
    Caring for a loved one can bring with it an enormous amount of pressure, so it is important to recognise, reduce and cope with the stress in order to be an effective caregiver. Take a step back and understand the source of your stress and remember not to worry about things you cannot change. Simple stress relieving activities include: going for a walk, reading, meditating or gardening. Build time in for this sort of activity at least once a week to ensure you’re looking out for your own wellbeing.

  2.  Make time for other relationships
    It’s easy to take loved ones for granted but for sole carers they can be your lifeline. When you are stressed it’s important to take time to prioritise your other relationships and maintain your friendships. Simply going for a coffee with a friend can be a brilliant way to relieve tension and take your mind off your role as a carer.

  3.  Take care of your body.
    It is important to find time to incorporate some form of physical exercise into your daily routine. This could be as simple as walking to the shops rather than driving, or doing some basic stretches a few times a day. Exercise is not only good for your physical wellbeing, but it is the key to reducing tension and stress, as well as promoting better sleep and energy levels.

  4. Educate yourself 
    Understanding your loved ones needs is an important step in becoming a confident carer. Sit down and make a list of requirements, concerns and solutions to make sense of the situation. Not only is writing a list in this way practical, but it can be therapeutic – seeing everything written down on paper can make tasks seem more manageable.

  5. Remember what makes you happy It’s important to remember your life before you became a carer, and the things that made you happy. A welcome distraction, be it listening to your favourite music or taking up a new hobby, can be vital in helping you cope with the pressures of being a carer and keeping a positive mind set.

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