As experts in providing the very best care and support for older people, we know that ensuring our dedicated team of carers are mentally and physically well has a hugely positive impact on those that live with us.
At Borough Care we have the resources to look after our workforce, providing our teams with access to benefits, learning and development opportunities, and supporting the Care Workers Charity in case times get tough.
However, if you’re caring for a loved one at home, the same level of support is not available. Caring can be a very rewarding job, but it can also be physically and emotionally exhausting, especially if you don’t have steps in place to keep you energised and well looked after.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot the signs and know when you need to seek help. But, if you’re feeling low and worrying a lot, combined with other issues such as a loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, insomnia, a lack of concentration or avoiding seeing family and friends – this could be a sign that you are struggling and need to reach out.
Here’s our advice on how to get the mental or physical boost you need to keep you going.
Ask for Help
Whether that help comes from a charity, a counsellor, temporary respite care or from friends and relatives, there is no shame in asking for help. Don’t reach breaking point when there are people who can support you. Even if this help is just occasional, it will give you the time you need to take care of yourself and boost your energy before you return to care for your loved one. Carer’s Trust is a fantastic charity that can help give you a much-needed break.
The Right Fuel
When caring for others, it’s easy to forget about caring for yourself. Mealtimes are a classic example. Your loved one may be eating a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner, but what about you? Are you skipping meals, relying on sugary snacks for energy and eating too much convenience food? If the answer is yes, this could make you feel more tired and have less energy. Try to eat regular meals and a varied diet and include as many fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy protein! Check out CarersUK for more advice on eating well.
Share How You Feel
Finding a local support group, and ensuring you have the support in place to regularly attend, can be so beneficial to your mental health. It is an opportunity to talk through issues and ask for advice from people in a similar situation to you. Stockport Mind run a Carer’s Support Service specifically to support the mental health of carers in the local community.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Long term insomnia, not enough sleep or disruptive sleep patterns can be so debilitating. Tiredness affects both our physical and mental health. To help you get some quality sleep try getting into a regular sleep routine, a hot bath before bed, not using your phone before bed or even meditation or mindfulness techniques before drifting off. Why not give this Guided Meditation for Easing into Sleep from Mindful a go and see if it works for you.
After a full day looking after yourself, the last thing you may feel like doing is going for a run or a walk, but physical exercise will make you feel better. You could try exercising first thing in the morning, before you have all day to talk yourself out of it! If you’re new to exercise, start with something you enjoy like a dance class or a guided yoga session on the internet, physical exercise will then feel like a treat rather than a chore.
Caring can be all consuming, but it is important not to lose track of the things you love to do. If you have a hobby, try to put a little time aside each week to spend some time doing something you enjoy. The same goes for keeping hold of relationships with friends and family, make the time for regular phone calls, and if you do have a couple of hours free, try to meet up with loved ones.
We hope that these tips will help you find some balance in the vital and important job you do caring for a loved one. If you’re interested in finding out more about the respite care options available at Borough Care, please call us on 0161 475 0140 or email: email@example.com.