Looking after your own wellbeing as a carer 

Caring for a loved one can be emotionally and physically challenging and often overwhelming at times. It’s important you take the time to look after yourself so you don’t burn out and can continue giving the best level of care not only to your loved one, but yourself too. 

April is Stress Awareness Month, and it was created to raise awareness of the contributing factors to stress and to fight the taboo around suffering from stress. Stress is very common, in fact, it is reported that ‘one in five people over the age of 16 suffer from stress’. 

Being a carer comes with many challenges, often on top of juggling work, family life and personal commitments. 

This year’s Stress Awareness month theme is #Littlebylittle to show the importance of how the smallest steps towards self-care and stress-busting techniques can help your mental health.   

Signs you need a break. 

Stress can happen gradually or suddenly, but there’s usually signs that your body and mind are telling you that you need to take a break.   

  • Not sleeping properly 
  • Feeling agitated or overwhelmed 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities 
  • An upset stomach 
  • Loneliness 
  • Mood swings 
  • Headaches 

Try to relax 

It’s not always easy to take time out, but putting aside some time for yourself will help you temporarily switch off from your problems and focus on yourself and what makes you happy, which can have a positive impact on your mental health. Below are a few of our suggestions on how to switch off: 

  • Do some of your favourite activities (watch your favourite TV Show or read your favourite book) 
  • Take a nice hot bath 
  • Try meditation or yoga 
  • Create a journal 

Get creative 

Being creative helps you immerse yourself in other activities and can provide a much-needed distraction. There are many ways you can be creative, even if you’re not a creative type! 

  • Try baking some of your favourite treats 
  • Do some drawing or artwork 
  • Sing a long to your favourite tunes or dance 

Looking after your physical health 

Your physical health and mental health go hand in hand, so it’s important to treat both equally.  From exercising to eating healthy, all of these can help improve your body and mind. 

  • Exercise – even the smallest amount of exercise, such as a daily 20-minute walk can have a huge impact on your mental health.  
  • Take part in an online fitness class or workout to free YouTube videos 
  • Create a healthy meal plan so you know you’ll have wholesome meals to look forward to 

Get social 

A burden shared, is a burden halved. Surrounding yourself with family, friends or a local support group will give you time to reflect and speak to others who can give a lending ear. 

  • Go for a walk with friends or family 
  • Organise a lunch with loved ones 
  • Attend one of our many support groups 

Ask for help 

Always remember that you’re not alone. Stress affects many of us and there’s no weakness in asking for help. Our Carers services have many ways we can help you and we’re only a phone call or click away. 

Stress Awareness Month Looking After Your Wellbeing as a Carer
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