Have you ever paused and wondered how much time you spend taking care of yourself? The Mental Health Foundation revealed that 71% of carers experience poor physical or mental health. While it’s a huge responsibility to look after your loved one’s well-being, it’s also important that you give equal importance to your own mental and physical health.
You can support yourself, as well as the person you look after, through mindfulness practices. This will encourage you to improve your mental health and well-being by managing your thoughts, emotions, and body. Here are some steps that can help you to feel calmer, more grounded, and more able to manage stress and emotional difficulty.
Practise Deep Breathing
Pause and relax by taking slow, deep breaths. BBC points out that quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing can foster anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. But when you’re aware of your own breathing, you’ll induce a relaxing sensation both in the brain and the body.
Whenever you feel stressed or tense, you can calm yourself down by focusing on your breath. Start by inhaling slowly through your nose until you can feel your chest and your belly rising. Afterwards, take your time as you exhale the air through your mouth. Repeat this short and simple process until you’re good to go!
Make Yourself Comfortable While Caring for Others
You are on your feet most of the day to carry out tasks and properly cater to your loved one. You also need to exert a lot of physical strength to assist an elderly parent or push a wheelchair. It’s no surprise that after a long hard day, carers like you feel a lot of aches and pains all over your bodies.
With the right tools, you can relieve pain and feel comfortable while caring for others. For instance, you can rest on an ergonomic chair while guarding a resting loved one or feeding them during mealtime. According to Pain Free Working, these chairs can reduce physical pain and lessen the risk of getting injured, since you will need to be in good shape to care for others. Furthermore, a good pair of shoes can provide you support while you’re working on your feet. There are lots of trainers that are designed for comfort, such as this one from Nike. Products like these will soothe your body and prevent pain while you’re looking after others, at the same time!
Focus on One Task at a Time
Carers handle a huge responsibility, and this may make you feel overwhelmed and stressed with your tasks. You may feel inclined to multi-task so you can finish everything quickly. But a distracted and rushed mind will only diminish the quality of the support you can potentially give.
You can gain better control over your tasks by being mindful of your actions. To achieve this, you need to give your full attention to one task at a time! You can also create a schedule so that you can properly allocate your time to each activity.
Dedicate Time for Self-Care
You may feel inclined to focus all of your energy on others and forget to allocate time for the things you enjoy. Though caring is rewarding, we at Harrow Carers believe that you will feel most fulfilled when you have also taken enough time to care for yourself.
Self-care can be anything from taking a long, relaxing bath at night or getting a massage. It can also be just taking a few minutes of your day to read a book or knit! Just simply make time for at least one thing that brings you joy.
The practice of mindfulness teaches people to manage their stress by focusing on what they can sense and control in the present moment. Through these four practices, you can give yourself the love and support that you deserve.
Specially written for harrowcarers.org by Bridget Jennings
Thursday 4th February 2021. Small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.
We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.
Time to Talk Day is the day that we get the nation talking about mental health. This year’s event might look a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health are more important than ever.
We need your help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – together we can end mental health stigma.
For more information visit Time to Change
Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. Contact Working for Carers on 020 8868 5224 Ext 218/208.
Thursday 26th November 2020
Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, we believe that it’s important that you understand your rights and are able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it. Each year, Carers Rights Day helps us:
- – ensure carers are aware of their rights
- – let carers know where to get help and support
- – raise awareness of the needs of carers.
The theme for Carers Rights Day 2020 is ‘Know Your Rights’
Carers need to know their rights wherever they are in their caring journey: whether they are in the workplace, in a healthcare setting, when interacting with professionals or at home. This Carers Rights Day, we want to empower carers with information and support, so they can feel confident asking for what they need. We also want carers to know how to challenge things when their rights are not being met.
For more information please visit Carers UK
Saturday 26th September 1pm-6pm online using zoom – Celebrating the role of carers across the Capital.
The festival concept was proposed following consultation with carer representatives across London.
To book the Carers Festival – click the following link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrating-the-role-of-carers-across-the-capital-tickets-119850852125
To access the Carer Festival Programme click the following link https://londonadass.org.uk/annual-carers-festival/
To view the LondonADASS Annual Carer Festival flyer click here
Writing a CV that will make you stand our can seem daunting, but if you can get help from employment support services such as Working for Carers.
Writing a CV
A good CV is one or two pages of A4, and includes the following:
– Personal details: name and contact details.
– Personal statement: short summary of your skills and career goals.
– Work experience: job title, organisation,employment dates and main responsibilities.
– Education: institution, dates and qualifications.
– Skills and achievements: in and outside work.
You can also add your hobbies, and note that references can be provided on request. Ask one or two people if they would be happy to provide a reference. This could be a manager, colleague, tutor or other professional.
Your caring role
You can mention your caring role on your CV, but this is up to you. It may help an employer understand any gaps in your work history.Think about the skills you have gained
as a carer as these may be useful in the workplace.For example, you might have gained skills in time management, form filling, budgeting and negotiating.
To read the CV’s and Coverings Information fact sheet, click here.
If you would like to join the Working for Carers CV Writing Skills online workshop on Thursday 20th August, please click here