It’s important to look after your own mental health too.
You are a carer if you are responsible for providing or arranging care for someone else who cannot care for themselves.
Caring for someone else can often be demanding, and you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed at times. You might find some parts of life challenging and this may leave you feeling stressed and isolated. Over time, this can lead to mental health problems. If you already live with a mental health problem, being a carer could affect your ability to stay well.
When you are a carer you spend a lot of your time focusing on someone else. It can feel unnatural to think about yourself and your needs. But it’s important that you look after your own well-being too. Taking positive steps to look after yourself can help you avoid physical and mental health problems.
If you are able to stay well, you are more likely to able to provide good support for longer, without getting too overwhelmed. So looking after your well-being is good for you and the person you care for.
If you are really busy, you might not always feel you have time to focus on looking after yourself. But it’s important that you make time to look after your physical health, and there are lots of things you can do to improve it. For example:
- Eat healthily
- Get enough rest
- Do regular physical activity
- Look after your general health and well-being
- Share your feelings with someone you trust
- Learn a relaxation technique
- Take a break
- Make time for yourself
Talking to someone can help
Even if their experience isn’t exactly the same as yours, finding common ground with other carers can make you feel less alone and isolated.
Contact the Carers Trust Scotland on 0300 123 2008.