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You matter too - care for the carer

You need body usefulness and mind happiness to be truly human.

As a carer you probably feel you have no time to care for yourself. You care for older people and the disabled all day, and then come home and care for your family. Or maybe you are the carer for a member of your own family. Each has its pressures and demands.

Do you often feel you have no time to look after your own body and mind?

The most important thing you can do is to take stock of your life. Your body, including your mind, is very precious, especially as you use it to care for others. There’s a limit to what it can do. Spend some time thinking about why you are a carer, whether you are employed, or are a family member or friend.

  • Money?
  • Satisfaction?
  • Necessity as a family member or friend?
  • What is the value of what you do, both to yourself and the one you care for?
  • If it is not valuable in your eyes why not?
  • How can you make caring meaningful, so that you get satisfaction from doing it and so transform your own life?

This is a conversation you need to have with yourself.

Download the carers' questions given below and spend some time thinking about your response to those questions.

At the very least, you are using your body to do something important for others, but with every movement you are also keeping your body fit. Achieving what you came to do brings satisfaction, so important to our well-being. By doing as much as possible for yourself and others, and as vigorously as possible, research shows that you are having the same effect on your body as you would by going to the gym!

Take time to do think about what you are doing and what you want to achieve for your body and mind, See each action as a chance to move a part of your body, so keeping it in good order, Every time you bend you are giving your discs a drink. Other movements lubricate the joints. Reaching  a goal, be it brushing the hair of your clients to make them presentable, or helping fasten their shoes, will give satisfaction and keep depression at bay ( yours and theirs) As you leave them, savour what you have done and meant to them. You often make their day.

Turn a chore into a challenge. 

Note the things that make your day a chore, things you find boring or which make you miserable. See if you can turn them into a chance to better your body and mind. Read more about keeping fit on the go.

It is important to examine and re-evaluate your lifestyle. Life can be transformed if you value yourself, your time and what you do. Doing so will enable you to really care and so transform the lives of those you care for. It's infectious and starts others caring too! 

See Backchat for use and care of your back.

Parish Nursing Ministries UK

A helpful resource of fully qualified nurses working in the community to fill the gaps left by other services, and dedicated to promote healing of body, mind and spirit.