Sometimes, our mood can heavily depend on changes in the weather.
Or as carers, our constant worry for the future and the person that we care for strips us from being able to enjoy and cherish the present moment.
And as our mind is that it thrives on logic, all uncertainty surrounding our caring role can be exhausting for our minds. And that’s before we add in the physical exhaustion of caring.
So, the first thing to know is that, if we’re feeling stressed, anxious, tired, ‘humpy’, fed up or any other unbeneficial emotion, then we’re not on our own!
The second thing to know is that it’s completely normal!
The third thing to know is that if you’re actually feeling A-OK, then that is perfectly normal too. We’re all normal – what a relief!
And remember – no feelings last forever. So, enjoy the highs and take comfort that the lows will pass.
The message coming loud and clear from within the Mobilise community is:
"Just remember to be kind to yourself."
With some awareness, that as carers we are good at giving that advice, but not always great at implementing it for ourselves, with some carers saying they wait until they have "burnt out" before doing something to help themselves.
I guess it's important to remember that there are no medals for soldiering on, but that self-kindness will sustain us for longer.
The good old duvet days
Sometimes we just need to have a bit of a wallow day – or duvet day, as I affectionately call them. Now, I can’t personally do duvet days in the style of my teens or early twenties! After all, there are three home schooling children here, one with complex needs. But, on a really low energy day, I am super kind to myself!
I ditch the home schooling, calling an INSET day, make hot chocolates and I pop the TV on. I take as much pressure as I can off of myself. Oh, and I ‘don’t do guilt’. I accept that I need a day like this, to recharge and be my best again for myself and my family.
We’ve been chatting about this in our Facebook community. It would seem that the INSET day was a rather popular idea! I hope I haven’t started a trend for dropping school attendance rates!
Other ways we handle those tough days, include positive media such watching TV – the kind of TV that allows us to just escape a bit and relax our minds, with shows like First Dates and the Simpsons being mentioned! Some of us like to keep our Pyjamas on all day too! And why not?
While some of us have been relaxing with new hobbies such as using water colours, taking more walks in nature or having picnics in the garden.
A few of us commented that it isn’t always easy to recognise the need to slow down or indeed to actually do it. We’re so conditioned to ‘working hard’, that it can be difficult to simply ‘let go’ a little bit.
Although, it was clear from the carers in our community that we are all understanding the need to be kind to ourselves more and more. After all,
"You can't pour from an empty cup"
"Being kind to yourself, is an important part of being able to replenish and therefore, being able to keep on caring"
So, when we've had our ‘duvet day’ and we are ready to turn our mood dial a couple of degrees, to feel just a little bit better, then there are several really easy and quick things we can do.
1. Pausing to notice the good stuff
However much it may be buried, spending a few minutes to shift our focus onto something we are grateful for, can shift the spotlight of our mind.
We may not feel like smiling, but if we can - then even a fake smile releases endorphins!
3. Set an intention
Setting one small goal every day, gives us direction, purpose and most importantly - a sense of achievement, when we have done it. What 'one small thing' will you do today? I think I'll make my bed with fresh, clean sheets - that really will feel good.
Whatever your mood today, hopefully one of these techniques will shift your mood dial a few notches in the right direction.
We have virtual cuppas which from Monday to Friday. Join us for laughs, a fun chat and real deep conversations! If that is too big a step, visit our Facebook community to connect with other unpaid carers.