We all know that ensuring the wellbeing of those we care for is of paramount importance. But it is as equally important to remember that, as a carer, your wellbeing is the most important element in doing your job well. Whether caring is your full time job, or you’re a volunteer carer looking after a loved one in the home or with visits, finding the time to practice a little self-care can be difficult.
We’ve put together some hints and tips that might help you feel better within yourself.
Why staying well as a carer is so important
All too often when caring as a profession or for a loved one, we forget that caring for ourselves is just as important. Before we know it we’re at breaking point, often experiencing low moods, short tempers and extreme fatigue. Inevitably this will have a knock on effect on those we care for and our loved ones. Not only is our own wellbeing suffering but that of those around us will too.
I’m just too busy to take a break…
We often hear this from carers who visit Waltham House Care Home with their loved ones. It’s often why residents are referred to us for respite care. But respite care shouldn’t be a last resort, it should be something put in place on a regular basis to allow you, the carer a break from your duties, allowing time for rest and recuperation.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be exhaustive and intensive. You can make small changes to your day which will help massively.
- Stay Hydrated – Fill up a water bottle in the morning and carry it around with you. If you find yourself forgetting to grab a drink why not set a reminder on your phone?
- Snack Attack – The same goes for eating, if your blood sugars are running low, you’ll find yourself feeling weak, tired and sometimes shaky. Carry your favourite piece of fruit in your bag, maybe a tub of nuts and dried fruit or a cereal bar of some sort. Any little pick me up you can eat on the go is great to have on hand.
- Stop, look and listen – No, we’re not talking about the green cross code. But before you get out of your car to run an errand or start your day, just take five minutes to stop and breathe. Open the car window and get some fresh air. It’s surprising how these little bursts of quiet will change your day.
What else can I do?
There are lots of things you can do to help with your wellbeing. But realistically we know it’s not always easy to find the time. Should you find yourself with some spare time or the inclination to do so, you can also try things like regular exercise, taking a long bath and eating a fresh, nutrient rich diet.
Find out what works for you and enriches your spare time. It could just be indulging in your favourite TV show with a glass of wine. That’s okay too!
If you are interested in the benefits of Respite Care why not have a chat with one of the team or visit our respite services information page.