Looking after yourself
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is just as important for you as it is for the person you support. Eating a balanced diet, including fruit and vegetables, will provide you with the energy you need for caring, build your immune system and reduce the chances of you becoming unwell.
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to a carer’s wellbeing. Some things that may help:
- get regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet
- go to bed and rise at the same time every day
- invest in a bed that provides good support for your back
- cut down on tea and coffee in the evening
- try not to eat late at night
- take a warm bath.
Helping the person you support may place strain on your back. Learn to lift in ways that reduce the risk of harming your back. There is also equipment that can minimise the strain on your back, such as mobility aids, motorised bath seats and walk-in showers suitable for wheelchairs.
There are some simple things you can do to help reduce stress, including:
- taking a short break from caring, even for a couple of hours each week
- taking up a physical activity
- eating sensibly
- getting enough sleep
- finding someone you can talk to about your feelings.
If you are feeling down, take some simple steps such as talking things over with someone else, getting outdoors and doing some exercise, treating yourself or doing something you really enjoy. If these do not help or you are unable to do them you should consider seeing a doctor.