In our previous articles we took a look at what a ‘carer’ is and the challenges they face. In this newest article we are going to provide some tips on how to look after yourself if you are a carer.

1. Try to stay healthy

It’s important that you make time to look after your own physical health, there are many things you can do to improve it if needed such as:
  • Eat healthy – try to eat regular meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Rest – a lack of sleep can make it difficult to cope with day to day challenges so make sure you get enough rest.
  • Regular physical activity – cycling to work, joining a class or a walk all will help with your physical health.

2. Be realistic about what you can do

Taking on too much can leave you feeling that you never get to finish or achieve anything so it’s important to be realistic about what you can do.

In being realistic about and accepting what you can and can’t do alone helps reduce potential stress and makes you feel more able to cope.

You may find it helpful to make a list of the type of support the person you care for needs, identify what you can do and what you need help with so that you can create a plan.

3. Make a crisis plan

If you are worried about what would happen if you became unwell a crisis plan is a great solution and will help you reduce the worry around this.

When creating this plan think about:
  • What will happen in an emergency with the person you care for? Agree a plan with friends, family or paid care workers
  • Who needs to be contacted in the event of an emergency? Create the list and keep it somewhere easily accessible
  • What are your caring responsibilities? Medication, ongoing treatment etc. Ensure someone else knows this information whether that be a friend, family or health or social care professional

4. Make time for yourself

Ensure you make time for yourself – spending quality time with your partner, family or friends can give you a break from your caring responsibilities, help you stay positive and boost your confidence.

Try and make time for the things you enjoy whether that be going for a coffee, a short walk or hobby – choose something that makes you feel fulfilled and something you can do regularly.

5. Share your feelings with someone you trust

You may find it hard to talk to someone about what you are dealing with as a carer but it’s really important you find someone that will support you and that you can trust. Can you think of a friend or family member that is good at taking your mind off things?

If you or, someone you know would some support take a look at our Resources and Help page.