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Your Mental Wellbeing

Your mental health is as important as your physical health

When caring for a family member or friend, you can be vulnerable to mental health issues, such as stress and depression. To learn more, visit Carers UK.

It is important to take time to look after your mental health alongside your physical health as the two are often interlinked.

The “oxygen mask” story will help you understand why this is important:

When you are flying, the air hostess demonstrates the emergency exit plans. They explain that if the oxygen masks drops it is essential that you put on yours first before reaching out to help others. If you don’t you are likely to collapse whilst trying to help.

This is a useful reminder that to help others, it is essential that you take time to care for yourself.

There are many ways you can do this. Many of them have been researched and shown to help maintain or improve a person’s mental wellbeing. So why not give them a go?

When caring for a family member or friend, you can be vulnerable to mental health issues, such as stress and depression. To learn more, visit Carers UK.

It is important to take time to look after your mental health alongside your physical health as the two are often interlinked.

The “oxygen mask” story will help you understand why this is important:

When you are flying, the air hostess demonstrates the emergency exit plans. They explain that if the oxygen masks drops it is essential that you put on yours first before reaching out to help others. If you don’t you are likely to collapse whilst trying to help.

This is a useful reminder that to help others, it is essential that you take time to care for yourself.

There are many ways you can do this. Many of them have been researched and shown to help maintain or improve a person’s mental wellbeing. So why not give them a go?

Connect with Others

We have all become more aware of how much impact loneliness and isolation can have on our mental and physical health. To read more.

For some carers, they might find that they slowly lose contact with others. They feel that others do not understand what being a carer means.

Tips

  • Make sure your family and friends know that you are caring for someone.
  • To help them understand the impact this has on you, share Looking after Someone and Two Sides of the Story by Carers UK.
  • Family and friends might not understand but other carers will; so make sure you connect with them. See below.

Connecting with people who understand

Many carers find that it helps to talk to other carers who understand the challenges they are going through.

Tips

Connecting through social media

You might not be able to attend a face-to-face group. This might be due to your caring role or you might be working. The advantage of online groups is that you can access them 24/7. There are several ways to connect to carers online.

Tips

Talk about your Worries

As a carer, you can be faced with many challenges that are out of your control. This can be stressful and can affect your wellbeing.

Talking can help improve your mental wellbeing. This might be with a friend or family member, another carer or a professional.

There are people able to listen to you and offer advice if needed.

You might prefer to talk to a counsellor. You can learn more about the different types of counselling. You can access one through:

Other support available

The Samaritans are available to talk to anyone who needs support. They are available 24/7. To learn more.

If you feel that you need urgent support out of hours, contact Bedfordshire’s Mental Health Crisis Team.

Understand the Condition

It can help to understand the condition of the person you are caring for has.

This can help you recognise that it is not personal when the person you care for does something that upsets or challenges you.

It can help you feel more confident when discussing the issues faced with health professionals.

For a list of local charities supporting conditions.

Manage Difficult Feelings

As a carer you might experience difficult emotions, such as anger, frustration, sadness, grief, hopelessness, etc.

It can help to find a strategy that helps you deal with these emotions positively. For ideas. [Coming soon]

Planning

It is very easy to get into a cycle of worrying. Yvonne Newbold, author of Special Parent recommends instead of calling it worrying, call it planning and then plan like crazy. This is good advice for all carers.  Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Plan a routine.
  • Keep records of the person you care for condition and their treatment.
  • Keep your financial information organised. This makes the information easier to access for benefits and care assessments.
  • Create an emergency plan. To learn more.

Look after your Physical Health

We don’t necessarily want to hear this but research has shown repeatedly that looking after your physical health also helps your mental health.

It is very important that you take the time to find ways to look after your physical health. This is important as carers are more likely to develop long term health conditions. For ideas.

Strategies to Help

There are many strategies available to help you maintain and improve your mental wellbeing. Try to find the ones you think will work for you. You might help it useful to talk through these with a counsellor at Carers in Bedfordshire.

Ideas from other organisations

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