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Looking after yourself if you're a carer

Being a carer can be very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.  This can affect your health and wellbeing. 

We know your priority is the person you’re caring for, but you need to keep well and find some time for yourself, so that you can continue caring for them.

Keeping yourself well

NHS Choices gives a range of advice on conditions and treatments and an area called moodzone for advice on wellbeing.

Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetic Service will help you with healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Mental Health Support

If you feel your caring role is affecting your mental health or you're caring for someone with mental health problems, see our mental health information, advice and support page for details of organisations in Leicestershire that can help you.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness uses techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga to help you to concentrate on the present moment and not get distracted by the past or future. It helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, you're better able to manage them.

There are apps available that can help you with stress, anxiety and depression.

Get enough sleep 

Sleep is a vital part of our daily life and important for our physical and mental health.  If your sleep is being interrupted or you have trouble sleeping, you may want to consider how equipment and technology could help e.g. apps for sleeping. 

Taking a break or contacting a carer support group to talk things through confidentially with someone who understands, may help you feel less stressed, and get a better night’s sleep.

Talk about it

You may find that talking about being a carer is helpful and can provide answers and a sense of relief to caring problems.

Friends, family and neighbours

Remember to talk to family, friends and neighbours and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The people who care about you will want to know if you’re struggling and may be able to offer support and friendship. There are also a number of organisations you can talk to.

Your GP

Ask your surgery for a carer’s registration form. 

By registering as a carer with your GP practice, they may be able to offer flexible appointments and yearly health checks, flu jabs and other advice and support you need.

Your employer

As a working carer, there might be additional support you can get to help you juggle work and care in addition to your statutory rights.

Training and education

If you feel that you would like to build confidence in your caring role, the Carers Trust offers free online courses for carers.

You can find advice on moving, lifting and handling the person you care for.

Five steps to feeling happier

Try the five steps we can all take to improve our mental health 

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