In our previous blog post, we shared information and resources available through the NDIS to provide help for carers of the elderly. That article discussed the external support system and networks that are available to you.
In this article, we will share some other tips and tricks to help ensure that you are able to care for yourself while being a loving family member as well as a great carer.
Whether you enjoy long walks on the beach, hot yoga classes at the gym or workout videos in front of the laptop, staying physically active is very important to provide support for carers and ensure they are taking care of their health and wellbeing.
Exercise has a number of physical benefits including:
Exercise also helps produce endorphins which help boost your mood and control pain even after the exercise has finished.
With long and physically and emotionally draining days, it can be tempting to grab takeaway or order dinner from online delivery services. However, maintaining a healthy diet that follows the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is really important to ensure that your health is a priority as well.
Try to schedule a time to shop and cook for fresh and tasty foods that you enjoy to keep your body healthy and provide you with the energy that your carer role requires.
Scheduling time for things that make you happy is important for your health and wellbeing. One recommendation from support services for carers is to carve out time for yourself and make a list every Sunday night of 7 things that you enjoy doing.
Every day choose one of them to boost your mood. These activities could involve calling a close friend, buying yourself a treat, or watching an episode of a show that you enjoy on Netflix.
Relaxation includes both physical and emotional relaxation and is an important part of caring for yourself.
Physical relaxing includes care of your bones and muscles so that you can prevent or reduce pain in your neck or lower back. Investing in a product such as an adjustable lower back support or a back eze mark can help provide this level of comfort.
Being surrounded by other people who share similar goals or values is another way of staying grounded and helping to put things into perspective.
Actively religious people are more likely to describe themselves as very happy than their less religious counterparts. Being part of a religious community can help provide a different type of support for carers, give you structure as well as a support network of people.
As the old saying goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved.” While it can be difficult to find time to socialise, catching up with friends and sharing your experience can be very beneficial.
Social networks can:
Overall, it is important to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to care for your own wellbeing for so that you can provide the best care possible and achieve the best outcomes for everyone.
Always remember when you are a caregiver, it's not selfish to concentrate on your own needs and desires — it's an important part of the job. You are responsible for your own self-care. Concentrate on the following practices in self-care:
Live your best life!