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How to get more of what we want as a carer

How about getting more of what YOU want next year? Does that sound good? As unpaid carers, we can feel that our needs and wants come second fiddle at best. So we’re here to remind us all that we are allowed to have our needs met. In fact - we’re better humans and carers when our own wants and needs are met. But how?

Illustration of a man at home with two pets.

The first hurdle might not be what we think. For example, many of us may initially think that a lack of time or money gets in the way of meeting our own needs. Or indeed that time and money are what we want more of. And of course, they can play a significant part, but they're not the whole story.


In fact - if we leave our thinking at that level, we may just give up, as it seems an insurmountable challenge. By reflecting and breaking down our needs into smaller, more specific things, we have a greater chance of achieving them.


Often, we haven’t paused to think specifically about what our needs and wants are. We don’t actually know what we want more of - not in a specific and helpful way, anyway.


By spending some time reflecting, thinking and imagining - we can get much more specific. And by being more specific, we have a real shot and get more of what we want.


“If we don’t know where we’re going, how can we get there?”

We’re sharing five short videos to guide us through some self-reflection and forward-thinking activities. Do them all at once or take some time for yourself each day (perhaps with your favourite hot drink), to watch each video. You might be surprised with what you come up with.


We also host some reflection-focused online cuppas, where we explore these activities as a small group. You’re very welcome to join us.

Illustration of a man standing next to a clipboard.


Step one - Grab a notebook and pen

Step two - Watch a video each day (or in one hit if you fancy it) - or if you prefer, simply read the questions, which are in text below each video.

Step three - Take time to think about your answers to the questions. Have a good think, over a hot drink, on a wintery walk or as you go about your daily routine.

Step four - Share your thoughts and be inspired by others who are looking after someone.



Video one: Looking back, looking ahead

Questions:

1 a) What did you find hard last year?

1 b) What were you most thankful for last year?

1 c) What would you like to take forward into the new year?


Video two: Looking back, looking forward

Questions:

2 a) What did you learn last year?

2 b) What were you proud of?

2 c) What would you like to learn next year?


Video three: Looking back, looking forward

Questions:

3 a) How did your creativity show up last year?

3 b) What image captures the year for you?

3 c) Where will you find excitement or adventure next year?


Video four: Looking back, looking forward

Questions:

4 a) What are your values and how did they show up last year?

4 b) How did you limit yourself last year?

4 c) Who will you be in 2021?


Video five: Looking back, looking forward

Questions:

5 a) What is the funniest thing that happened last year?

5 b) What will be your theme tune for next year?

5 c) How will you create joy for yourself and others next year?


Finally, we don't have to go through these thoughts alone. Sometimes it may be helpful to map out our thoughts with someone. Feel free to connect with other unpaid carers in our online Mobilise Community. A space where carers can ask all sorts of questions, and we help each other out with our experiences and wisdom.


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