Caring for yourself
Caring inevitably means putting another person’s need ahead of your own. However experienced carers will tell you that taking care of yourself is an important part of being able to care for someone else.
Make sure that you take care of the basics. Eat a healthy diet, drink enough water and get adequate sleep. Taking time out is also important. Wherever possible, keep up with friends, and with hobbies and pastimes. Find ways to manage stress that work for you. Try exercise, talking to others, journaling, and techniques such as mindfulness , relaxation and breathing exercises.
Planning regular respite care can help you find time for yourself. Respite is short term care, provided in your own home, or for longer periods in an aged care home. You can use this time to get chores done, meet friends or to exercise. You may also find it helpful to have some time for yourself without making plans.
Talking through how you are feeling and any difficulties you are having with a trusted family member or friend can help. Carers counselling services are also available. These services provide support through the ups and downs of caring, along with a fresh perspective and practical advice.
But taking care of yourself is also important.
If you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after your loved one.
Things to do
Eat healthy food.
Get enough sleep.
Take time out.
Keep up with friends.
Do things you enjoy.
Talk to others.
Write down your feelings.
Try relaxation and breathing exercises.
Respite care is when someone else looks after your loved one.
This means you can take a break.
For short breaks, someone can come to your home.
For longer breaks, your loved one can go to aged care home.
Use this time to get things done.
Take some time for yourself without making plans.
Talk to people
Talk to a trusted family member or friend.
Talk to a counsellor.
A counsellor can give you new ideas and advice.