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10 ways for carers to get unstuck and move forwards

In our Mobilise Moment, a monthly check-in with carers (February 2022), we focused on where we might be feeling stuck.

Illustration of man sitting in front of his TV.

We asked - What was one thing you felt particularly stuck with?

Some of us are feeling stuck with particular emotions, feeling low, lacking energy and worry (both our own emotions and those of the people we care for). Our own health, pain and lack of sleep are also issues we have felt unable to change. Sound familiar? Read on.

There are practical problems too, sorting out benefits, forms and finances, getting organised, finding work and arranging support services

We also asked - Why was it stuck?

There’s a variety of things going on here - waiting for responses from people, lack of time due to caring responsibilities, being unable to leave the house, lack of motivation, not sure what to do, procrastination and sometimes simply that nothing we try makes any difference. No doubt that we can all relate!

“Overload of problems, don't know what the next step is”

So how can we get unstuck and start moving forwards?

The things we get stuck with and the reasons we are stuck are probably a little but unique to us. So here are 10 things we can try. All we need is for one thing to work and we could be moving forwards again.

  1. Work on small steps

  2. See if someone else can help, perhaps our friends or family? We will never know if we don’t ask!

  3. Try something different - “if we always do what we always did we’ll always get what we always got

  4. Make a plan and prioritise (check out our handy priority matrix)

  5. Only work on things that are in our control

  6. Look at how we are getting in our own way… do we tell ourselves we can’t do something, that no-one will help or we just have to put up with this?

  7. Check if this is our responsibility or is it someone else that needs to move this forward?

  8. Use some strategies to fight procrastination - (see our guide to fixing our to do lists)

  9. Take a break - sometimes not doing something and taking time to recharge is more effective

  10. Acceptance - this is different to giving up, recognising how things “just are” rather than fighting against them can be liberating

Or perhaps we should focus our energy on something else?

We also asked - What is one thing you want to do for yourself (yes you - no one else)?

Lots of the things we are stuck with are not the things we would choose to be doing. They are essential things for us to do as carers, or is just what life has thrown at us. So, of course, they are not easy or sometimes even possible to just “get done”.

Perhaps, if we make progress with the things that matter to us and give us some pleasure, we can gather some motivation and come back to those stuck things with fresh energy and maybe even some creative solutions.

For a bit of inspiration, here are the things we said we want to do for ourselves:

  • Be kind to myself, find my peace of mind

  • Have a holiday, the seaside, getaway for a day and meet a friend

  • Time to myself without interruptions, 24 hours doing what I want to do.

  • Pilates, yoga, walking, long country walk, more exercise

  • Getting hair done, massage

  • Sleep, get well, look after my mental health

  • Buy myself a birthday present

  • Go to the theatre, attend Church events, things that enrich my life

“A day to read, knit and just be me”

Thank you to everyone in the Mobilise Community who shared their responses.

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