Today we want to give you some self-care tips for carers. Taking care of someone who relies on you for everything can be draining – even if you love doing it. There are emotional complexities and practical duties that need to be done all day, every day.
So how can you, as a carer, ensure that you are taking care of yourself too?
If you do have time to spare, then one of the things you should do is make sure that there is time for your hobby. Hobbies keep you happy and balanced; the more often we get a chance to dabble in things we love, the more we get of those lovely happy hormones.
Keeping your own hobbies and interests means that you manage to hold on to many of the things that make you who you are.
You will already be stressed and stretched thin if you are employed and caring. It is important to talk to your employer, explain the situation, and see if there is a way to implement flexible working, working from home, reducing hours, or having lighter responsibilities.
A work-life balance is already difficult in average circumstances; when adding into that being a carer, things can be even more tricky.
The last few years have shown us that we should be celebrating ourselves often. There are community days that you can take part in where many carers will come together or do something where they celebrate themselves and everything they do. Caregivers do a lot, and a day to celebrate yourself or other carers you know is important.
Make sure you celebrate all of the big and small things you do in everyday life – not just about being an incredible caregiver.
There are a high number of carers who suffer from depression and anxiety because they have so much to do and are relied on for everyday life. One of the issues is that carers do not realize that they have transitioned into the role.
Emotional support is one of the most important things you can seek. Talking to your doctor and those around you and looking for online forums designed to help carers through everyday life.
Depending on the type of carer you are, you might find that there are options for respite too. Where you can take the person you care for to a meeting place and have a few hours relaxing with others, have a warm drink that you didn’t have to make – and maybe a biscuit or a nap too!
Often self-care is a hot bath, a few hours out of the situation, and more. But that isn’t one-size-fits-all. Self-care for carers can look different. It can look more like switching everything off for an hour to have some silence. It could be that you only wear soles with support or don’t compromise on the coffee you drink.
Simple self-care can help you support yourself while you support others. Here are some more tips that can help you manage the demands on your time: How to Take Care of Your Own Health and Well-being as a Caregiver – Cliché Magazine.