We reached out to the young adults in our community to find out their advice for Young Adult Carers. Here is what they shared!
1. Know that we are doing a great job
You are doing a great job. What you do makes a difference to those you care about. You are the best person for it and you’re doing the best you can do. As carers, we learn as you go, and that's normal. It’s good to remind ourselves that even the small things you do can be day-changing for those around you.
2. Recognise our personal journey
Our life might look different to that of our friends, peers or even of other young adult carers. But it is important to recognise that we are on our own personal journey. It is important to acknowledge how far we've come so far, the skills we have gained and the important role we play as a carer.
Do not compare your successes to others or believe every success you see on social media. You are doing a great job, there is nowhere else you should be or a milestone you should have hit. Your journey solely focuses on you, your resilience, the lessons you’ve learned and your personal growth.
3. Take time to do the things we enjoy
The time we put into the things we enjoy is time that is invested in ourselves. Whether it’s one-off projects, an online course, going to the gym or taking up a hobby, it is time spent on us away from caring. It is a time where we can focus on our ’wants’, as well as our needs. Doing the things we enjoy is so beneficial for our mental wellbeing.
4. “Remember that we are an individual with our own needs too.”
You are important. Understanding your needs and meeting them regularly is the fuel which will help you continue doing what you do and avoid running on empty.
5. Make time for ourselves, no matter how busy we are
Schedule time for you as part of your day to day routine. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it could be just five minutes for a game, a chapter of a book, a walk or an episode of a TV program.
Whatever it is, put it in your calendar. Make that commitment to you.
“As much as things can pile up, you must make time for yourself, even if it’s just an hour a day to get your mind off of things.”
6. Make time to speak to others
It is easy to leave a message on ‘read’, to miss or postpone a phone call or to simply not start a conversation when we feel like we don’t have the time. However, there are times where these conversations can be just what we need, even if we don’t know it. Whether it’s a catch up with a friend or a virtual cuppa with carers, speaking to others can help us to work through the tough stuff, to talk about recent events or share a laugh or two.
7. Set personal goals and aspirations for ourselves
What is your dream job or career? What is on your bucket list?
Setting goals and plans help us to bring out the best in ourselves. They remind us to think about what’s important to us and to be ourselves.
“You'll have to go off on your own adventure which is only defined where you set your imagination and ambition.”
8. It’s okay to not have all the answers
Every experience of caring is so unique and a big part of it is learning as we go. No one ever has all of the answers but there are a whole range of people, tools, services and resources out there to help us find the solutions that work for us. Never be afraid to ask for help.
9. Make the most of the support available to us
Support is important, even when we don’t think we need it.
Support is not only beneficial in times of crisis but it is also so important within our day to day lives.
Accessing support helps us to gain the tools we need to be resilient, healthy and emotionally strong when we need to be. It can also ensure the practical things are in place if and when we need it, which gives us peace of mind. We offer individual support calls if you feel like you'd benefit from a chat with one of our coaches.
10. Find what self-care works for us
Self-care looks different for everyone, it doesn’t always look like respite breaks, mindfulness or wellbeing classes.
Sometimes, it can be taking time to listen to our favourite song, having a bubble bath or calling a friend for a catch-up. The important thing is to make time for the things that help us to recharge within our day.
Self-care shouldn’t feel like more work!
What is one piece of advice you have been given that has stuck with you?