4 Ways to Look After Your Wellbeing as a Carer
Although being a carer can be an extremely rewarding experience, if you’re helping to look after a loved one, you might find it difficult to balance prioritising your own wellbeing while making sure they have everything they need.
If you’re caring for someone you love, then here are four ways to maintain your own mental wellbeing while looking after others.
Make Time for Yourself
Just carving out an hour of time for yourself per day has been shown to improve mental wellbeing.
Taking some time to indulge in a hobby, doing some light exercise, or engaging mindfulness and yoga have been shown to boost mood and lower stress levels.
A study in 2020 showed that having a hobby lowers the risk of depression by a massive 30%, so whether it’s reading a book, painting or watching your favourite Netflix show, it can all contributes to making you a happier and more relaxed person.
Consider Furthering Your Education
Depending on your responsibilities as a carer, you may want to consider enrolling in a distance learning course to further your education and learn new skills, as this could extend opportunities in your current career, or open doors to a new one.
With distance learning programmes, such as those offered by Anglia Ruskin University, you can enrol in a degree course from home and study on a schedule that suits your caring commitments and responsibilities.
Step Up Your Organisation Game
Keeping on top of your organisation will take a load off your mind, particularly when you’re juggling multiple responsibilities.
You might want to invest in a diary or calendar to keep track of appointments, medicine intake, outings, and social plans.
This will also mean that you can plan ahead and organise time for yourself while still keeping tabs on the jobs that need doing.
Sometimes just making a to-do list and ticking off items can be a hugely stress-relieving activity and prioritising your jobs in order of importance can help you to get the most important jobs out of the way.
Look after Your Physical Wellbeing
Physical wellbeing is just as important as mental wellbeing, and the two tie together very closely.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet and try to get as much sleep as possible, aiming for around eight hours a night if you can.
Leaving some time before sleep to wind down in the evening and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and the blue light of your phone screen will also help your mind to settle.
Exercise frequently, even if it’s just a light stroll outside. If you’re a fan of heavier target-based exercise, consider joining a gym or getting a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals.
There is a direct link between exercise and the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) in your brain, so the more exercise you do, the more your mood is likely to lift as a result.
Do you have any tips for looking after your wellbeing as a carer? Leave your answer in the comments below!
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