Ways to maintain good health and wellbeing
Although looking after someone can be rewarding and give people a sense of purpose, it can also be very draining on your own mental wellbeing, and energy for living. It is important to find time to relax yourself, in order to continue to have the strength and head-space to support the other person. Regular appointments, such as going to the hairdressers, or having a massage, can be a good structure for this. Or arranging to meet a friend for a drink – even if just for a short period of time.
However, it is not always possible to find time to do this, or to be able to leave the house easily. There are quite a few websites designed to encourage people to take more time in a busy day and sit for a few minutes to relax. Even taking 10 minutes to focus on relaxing can have a hugely beneficial impact on your mood and energy levels for the rest of the day. You might find it possible to make this into a routine. There are many ways of taking time out. It may be that a 20 minute walk, or watching a well-loved TV programme for 20 minutes is more beneficial for you. The important bit is to find some time each day for some ‘escapism’.
Lots of people use technology in their caring role – whether that is searching for a particular service or ordering a prescription. However, there are phone/tablet/computer applications (‘apps’) that might help carers (or the cared-for person). The NHS has produced a list of apps that can help manage health conditions and disabilities, as well as support good health and wellbeing more generally. You can search these or filter the apps on the basis of a particular category or health issue. Many are free, some have a cost, but all are available here on the NHS Apps Library.
- Anxiety, Stress and Sleep
These guides are more specific on particular difficulties, and may not all feel relevant. However, the ‘anxiety control training audio guide’ is perhaps a good starter for a relaxation session, which only takes 6 minutes. You may also find the ‘overcoming sleep problems’ audio quite useful. These have been done by NHS professionals: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/moodzone-mental-wellbeing-audio-guides.aspx
06 February 2018