The five secrets of resilient caring
When we are looking after someone we often dive into the practical, medical and emotional things that need attention. Many of us leap into action to help those we care about and this is probably exactly what needed to happen.
Please take a breath (you are doing a great job!). I've been listening to a lot of carers and they've been sharing how they have built resilience in the face of the challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
So I'm letting you in on their secrets:
1. Look after yourself
Our physical and mental health have never been more important. Even if we can't quite get round to doing something about this, knowing that we matter is a good first step. Perhaps we are already doing something that helps, keep going. Small changes can make a big difference: exercise, a moment of relaxation, an extra glass of water, a news switch off can all help.
2. Have someone you can really talk to
Someone who will listen and not try to fix our problems or tell us about theirs. A friend, family member or even a complete stranger from a support organisation might be right for us.
You can also a free book a 30 minute 1-1 support call with me and talk about whatever you need to talk about.
3. Ask for help
Particularly getting shopping and prescriptions. If friends and family can help, do accept their offers and tell them what would help us most.
In the UK, check your local council's website for updates on resilience hubs and voluntary action groups. You can also search this database for help near you.
4. Build a new routine that works for you
Not a regimented plan but something that gives our day structure, purpose and joy - we will feel more in control.
If you need some help getting started download our simple weekly planning template for carers.
5. Be part of a community (online or virtual)
Contribute to it with what you can do rather than focusing just on what you can't do. You are very welcome to join the Mobilise Community Facebook group.
Of course these things shouldn't be kept secret! Please share them with others that you know who are looking after someone. Perhaps you have got something to add, please drop me an email.