Self-Care is vital for any caring role, be it for your own child, parent or spouse. While most people know in theory how they could be looking after themselves better, there is a lot of guilt attached to taking time out for ourselves which prevents us from actually doing it.
Carers can also suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of their roles and it’s important to get professional assistance from support services such as the Carer Gateway, Carers SA, your trusted GP and private counselling and psychological services if this is the case.
Some self-care tips for carers:
- Ask for help – acknowledge your feelings and seek help if they become unmanageable
- Use respite services to take time out for yourself
- Exercise, eat healthily, sleep well
- Try to relax regularly – meditate, practice mindfulness and make time for your usual hobbies and interests
- Keep in contact with friends and continue to join in on social occasions
- Join carer support groups
- Ring carer support services to find out about services and funding available to you
- Make plans for the future – special outings and holidays are still possible, although they might look different to what you are used to
- Use an action calendar which reminds you to do something small for yourself each day (see the example below)
You can easily practice meditation and mindfulness at home. You Tube has many videos you can use for relaxation and aiding sleep: