Caring for someone is a wonderful thing, but it can take its toll on your health and wellbeing. If you’re caring right now, we know and understand how challenging this might be for you during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In fact, our recent Carer’s Survey revealed that 2 in 3 Carers say increased caring responsibilities because of Coronavirus have contributed towards their increased feelings of being tired, anxious, and lonely.

When you’re looking after someone else, it’s easy to put aside your own needs. However, it is important to look after yourself, including both your physical health as well as your mental health and wellbeing so that you can be there for your loved ones. Here, we’ve put together 5 tips that can help with your own wellbeing:

1. Self-care

Looking after yourself starts with ensuring that you’re drinking enough water (aim for 2 litres a day) and eating well. Try to eat a varied diet and include as many fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy protein, in your meals as you can. Here is a link to some quick and healthy recipes to try.

2. Be Active

Fitting in a bit of daily exercise can give you energy, and can help to keep you healthy and well. If possible, try and take a brisk 10 minute walk each day. Or if you can’t leave the house, did you know that there are lots of short classes on You Tube, like Yoga or Pilates, that you can do in your own time? Or check out some of the group activity classes held by Healthy Surrey.

3. Connect with People

If you’re self-isolating or shielding it can get very lonely being at home, but there are ways which you can connect with others. Mary Frances Trust run a coffee morning every weekday at 10.30am where you can connect with others, in a safe and fun environment.  Or if you would prefer to chat to someone on the phone one-to-one, we have volunteer befrienders who would love to chat to you, get in touch to find out more.

4. Take Time for Yourself

Caring can be exhausting and leave you with little time to yourself. However, it’s really important that you don’t forget your hobbies, and try and make time for the things you love to do. It could be knitting, a bit or gardening or reading a good novel. If you need to book longer respite breaks to make time for your hobbies, you can find out more here.

5. Get Support

You are not alone. There are lots of people out there who can support you on your caring journey:

  • Register with a doctor – It is important that everyone at your surgery is aware that you are a carer so that they can provide you with support and help if you need it. GPs have a responsibility to support and work with you in your caring role but also to help you to maintain your own health.
  • Mental Health – The charity Mind has lots of advice and support to help you cope when you’re supporting someone else. Or if you want to find some local support, here is a list of local mental health services in Surrey that support carers.
  • Learning – Carer’s UK have a range of online courses to help support carers in their role, click here to find out more.

We hope you have found these tips useful. If you would like to find out more about how Crossroads Care Surrey can support you please get in touch by calling us on 01372 869970 or email enquiries@crossroadscaresurrey.org.uk