Looking after yourself is just as important as the work you do looking after others, whether in a personal or professional capacity, you can’t pour from an empty cup after all and burning yourself out will do no one any good.
Here are just a few of the things you can do to make sure you are looking after your physical and mental wellbeing.
1) Make time to eat properly
Regular nutritious meals don’t have to be expensive or take ages to prepare, but they will give you the energy you need to continue with your day effectively, here are some ideas:
- Scrambled egg, wholemeal toast and a glass of orange juice
- Granola, yoghurt and fruit and a cup of coffee
- A bowl of cereal, an apple and a cup of tea
- Baked beans on wholemeal toast and an orange
- Jacket potato with tuna and salad
- Chicken or egg salad sandwich and a banana
- Chicken, pork or tofu stir-fry with wholegrain rice or noodles
- Cottage pie topped with sweet potato mash with broccoli
- Spaghetti bolognese with wholemeal pasta
- An apple with nut butter
- A handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit
- Carrot, pepper and celery sticks with hummus or cottage cheese
2) Have some ‘you time’.
A cup of coffee in the garden with a book, a soak in the bath, a catch up with a friend, or half an hour going for a walk will give your mind and body a little downtime, lower your stress levels and contribute to your overall wellbeing.
3) Keep hydrated!
Dehydration can cause sleepiness and headaches, and as a caregiver, you make sure the person you care for drinks enough, so do the same for yourself! It will also help keep your joints and muscles working as they should, always handy when you are doing a physical job!
4) Get enough sleep!
- Sleep is so important to help keep you feeling healthy and motivated. If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep try these tips;
- Turn off screens 1 hour before you go to bed, read a book instead
- Avoid a heavy meal for a couple of hours before sleeping
- Avoid caffeine after about 2pm
- Try a warm bath or shower
- Essential oils such as lavender can help; a couple of drops on your duvet cover or pillow will help you doze off (check with your GP before using certain oils if pregnant, breastfeeding or using around children or pets)
- Avoid snoozing your alarm! instead, get straight up and do some stretches!
5) It’s good to talk!
If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, like everything is beginning to get on top of you, speak to someone. Whether it’s a colleague, your partner, a friend, it is important to share how you feel. Sometimes just talking things through can really help how you feel. If it doesn’t, then speak to your doctor. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help if you need it.