Look after your own health

  • There is no doubt that, without the right support, caring can all too easily damage your own health so you will need to find the balance between caring and looking after your own health needs. It is not an easy balance to find but remember, the better your own physical and emotional wellbeing, the better you will be able to cope with the demands of caring. If you only do three things make sure you:

  • 1. Tell your Doctor

    Make sure you tell your Doctor that you are a carer and ask them to record the details on your file. If they know you are an active Carer, some Doctors will offer special flexibility with appointments or are more willing to make home visits. Carers are usually very busy people and sometimes don't find time to look after their own health. A good Doctor who understands carers can be a gateway to getting all kinds of help, such as counselling and access to other medical services.

  • 2. Watch your stress levels

    Stress is a fact of life for most carers and there are usually very few opportunities for relaxation but beware, not being able to relax from time-to-time can have a long-term detrimental effect on your health. It is vital that you learn to recognise the signs of stress and take appropriate action.

  • 3. Watch your back

    You may find that lifting the person you care for, helping them dress or move around places a strain on your back. It may be impossible to avoid lifting and handling the person you care for but you can get advice and guidelines that may reduce the risk of injury.

  • Feeling Positively Good

      As a Carer you work really hard but how often do you think about all the good you do? It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily routine of caring and fall into a negative state of mind but that’s not really going to help either you or the one you are caring for. Here’s 10 practical tips for things you can do to help you feel more positive and remember, different things work for different people so why not try a few to see what works for you.
    1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone has bad days.
    2. Speak to people who make you feel positive. This could be family, friends or our forum members.
    3. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for.
    4. Take one thing at a time and just breathe.
    5. Get enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation is a well known cause of depression and being tired does nothing for your mood.
    6. A pamper session in the bath can help: bubbles, oils, music and a good book.
    7. Remember that you are not only a carer; there is more to you than that.
    8. If possible, some form of exercise really helps to lift your mood. Walking, swimming, yoga or gardening, whatever works for you.
    9. Organise your problems, if its tomorrow’s problem then worry about it tomorrow
    10. Remember, you are not alone

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