6 tips for taking better care of yourself as a carer

mum and daughter

If you’re a carer who is naturally inclined to sacrifice your time and energy for others, it may be difficult to recognise the need to set aside time for yourself. Looking after yourself properly is essential if you want to give your best to others.

Here are some helpful tips on how to prioritise self-care and look after your mental health better, especially if you haven’t been paying as much attention to this area of your life lately because you have been caring for other people.

1.  Make time in your day for exercise

If you are caring around the clock and you don’t have much time for exercise, you should still try to fit in at least 10 to 15 minutes of exercise per day to reap the health benefits of physical activity.

woman running

If you struggle to find time in your day to do so, then try to think of ways you could work it into your busy schedule.

How about going for a short brisk walk during your lunch break or deliberately taking the stairs instead of the lift?

2.  Join a support group

If you find that you are starting to feel burned out and even a little frustrated with being a carer, the best thing you can do is join a local caregiver support group to help you cope with any negative feelings you may be experiencing. Additionally, you may find helpful resources and information that could help you in your job that you might not have been aware of before.

Group of people holding hands

3.  Make sure you get sufficient rest

Since being a carer can involve round-the-clock duties, it’s essential that you still make time for rest to allow you to do your job to the best of your ability. This may require asking for additional assistance if you find that you aren’t able to “clock out” at a reasonable hour every night.

person turning alarm clock off in bed

Alternatively, if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night because you are over-tired, it may be helpful to do activities that are going to help you wind down at night.

Some of these activities may include switching off your electronic device at least an hour before bed, drinking chamomile tea to help you relax, or spending a little time with a good book.

4.  Eat better

While it’s easier and more convenient to eat on the go, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating to ensure your body has the minerals and nutrients it needs.

healthy food variety

Eating a balanced diet can do wonders for your mental health, helping you to concentrate for longer as well as stabilizing your mood so that you can tackle the day optimistically.

5.  Take some time off

Lastly, be sure to take some time off for yourself regularly during the week. Try to make the most of your day off by doing some important things that re-energize you and motivate you for the week ahead.

woman listening to music through headphones

Find little things that lift your spirits and fill you with joy, such as grabbing your favourite latte to start the morning, or putting on your favourite song to make you feel happier.

6.  Do things that make you happy

At the end of the day, as a carer you are entitled to love and care for yourself as you would others.

Do those things that make you happy, take care of your diet, and be sure to incorporate movement and activity throughout your day. By doing so, you’re sure to be better at your vocation over the long term.

smiley face drawn in sand

Mental Health Counselling in Plymouth

Book a FREE 15 minute initial phone consultation with Frances Rayner at Dove Counselling in Plymouth and start your journey towards improved mental health.

Tel:  07940 8675994

Email:  frances@dovecounselling.co.uk

To find out more about Dove Counselling in Plymouth or book a FREE 15 minute initial  consultation, please telephone Frances on 0740 865994 or send an email