Caring for someone can be very rewarding – but it can also be exhausting, and it can take a lot out of you – physically, mentally and emotionally. Many carers are so focused on their loved one that they forget to take care of themselves. Remember - if you don’t take care of yourself it’s difficult to keep looking after others. Below are a few tips that may help you look after yourself while caring for someone else.
Have some ‘You time’ every day
Put aside a little time for yourself every day, and do something that you really enjoy.
Exercise for 30 minutes a day
Squeeze in a few yoga moves in the morning, a quick 10-minute walk during the day, and dance to 2 songs in the kitchen while you’re cooking dinner – that will quickly add up to 30 minutes.
Get good quality sleep
Get to bed as early as possible. Switch off the TV, iPad or computer at least an hour before bedtime so that you can wind down, and get some quality sleep.
Eat a nutritious, balanced diet
Ensure you are eating plenty of lean protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid consuming too much caffeine and sugar (they might help you feel more energised in the short term – but long term - not so much!). Don't forget to stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
Laugh every day
Have a good laugh every day by ringing a friend, watching a funny movie, or listening to a recording of your favourite comedian. Anything that brings a smile to your face is good for you.
Take some time each day to relax – have a nice long bath, listen to some music or your favourite podcast, do some yoga or tai chi, or meditate.
Keep in touch with friends
It is important to maintain your friendships, so catch up with friends when you can even if it’s just for a quick coffee, or walk. Organise a support worker and enjoy a night out with friends. Talk to your Key Contact at Muddy Puddles about the support services we can provide.
Ask for help when you need it
- and accept it when it’s offered! You’re not a superhero – realise that you cannot do everything. If you have a neighbour or friend who has offered to cook you a meal, try to accept it gratefully, and enjoy it - it is one less thing for you to worry about fitting in that day.
Join our caring for carers group
On the last Tuesday of every month, Muddy Puddles holds a ‘caring for carers’ support group in our hangout room. To join this group and receive support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office 4472 6939.