7 stress busters
We know it takes strength and courage to be a carer. And we know that, when you are caring for someone, it’s just as important to care for yourself.
Here are 7 ways to keep on top of your stress and stay mentally healthy.
1. Take a break
Being a carer is often a nonstop job. It’s important to take time out for yourself, to rest and recharge, and just do things for yourself. You can arrange respite care so that someone else takes care of the person you care for while you have a break.
2. Talk with a professional
A professional counsellor can talk through your worries and teach you how to manage stress. You can contact our phone counselling service to talk with someone. You can also find local counselling services in your area.
3. Get some help
You don’t have to do everything alone – your family, friends and neighbours might be able to help you. Maybe someone could do some shopping or cooking for you. Maybe someone could drive to doctors’ appointments. Talk to them about simple ways they can make your life easier.
You can also talk to Carer Gateway 1800 422 737 about what support services you can get in your area.
4. Talk with other carers
It can be good to talk with people who have been through the same things as you. You can join our carer forum to talk with other carers online. You can also join a group in your community – Carers Australia can tell you about your local groups.
We know just saying ‘relax’ won’t make you do it. But using relaxation techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises can really help with stress or poor sleep. Carer Gateway offers 5 recordings of relaxation techniques. You can also use apps such as Smiling Mind or those from Reachout.
6. Talk with friends
Connecting with other people doesn’t just feel good – it’s important for staying mentally healthy. You should make time to go out for coffee, go for a walk with a friend, join a local group, or even just talk or message on the phone or through social media.
7. Think about now
Focusing on what’s going on right now – instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future – has also been shown to reduce stress. Visit the Black Dog Institute for tips on mindfulness or look for a course in your area.