The importance of taking care of yourself
If you’re a carer, you may struggle to find the time to keep up your hobbies and activities that you used to enjoy. Check out these free activities for carers in Birmingham, to help you bring some balance to your caring role.
The reasons why someone becomes a carer vary greatly and the variety of tasks that a carer fulfils is diverse from practical household tasks to personal care and emotional support. An older person caring 24/7 for their spouse with severe dementia is a carer, as is a teenager who offers emotional support and helps to keep the household running as and when the fluctuating nature of their parent’s mental health requires it. These examples are very different but the respective responsibilities can mean that a carer’s own physical and emotional health is at stake.
Birmingham Carers Hub often see carers not finding time to focus on your own health and wellbeing, however we feel it is vitally important that you make some time for yourself, even for a few minutes a day to refresh and recharge.
Here are 5 recent health findings that are worth considering:
- Carer burnout is the primary reason family members are admitted into care homes, as opposed to the dependent’s physical or mental condition.
- Carers with depression or dealing with feelings of overwhelm are more likely to seek a care home for family members.
- The top concern for most ageing parent-carers is the worry of who will look after their children once they, the parents, have passed. Educating yourself on the range of options available is the first step towards greater peace of mind. The second step is learning to trust and let go a little – easier said than done, but there ways you can subdue the weight of worry.
- Children with additional needs may experience stress that can impact both their health and wellbeing. The same can be said for the parent-carers, who are assisting them to overcome their daily issues as well as enable them to prepare for what is coming in the future. A child’s wellbeing will be affected by the wellbeing of their parents so it is essential that you take time for yourself in this respect.
- When older carers are stressed, lack effective coping styles or have problems dealing with stress, the dependent is at greater risk of falling, developing other medical issues such as pressure sores, and suffer from decline in general heath.
Self-awareness is one of the key factors in how well carers cope in their roles. Recognising when you’ve experienced problems, how you have coped in the past, as well as knowing the extent or limits of yourself and the people around you, better equip you to face issues as they arise day-to-day. Because there is always so much going on, you might feel like you’re constantly firefighting. Take a step back to assess and analyse, and always celebrate the little victories. Remember, your own wellbeing is important, too.