5 ways for carers to create some me-time

As a carer do you find it difficult to carve time out of your busy day for yourself?

Do you find that you’re constantly putting the needs of others before your own?

At the end of each day do you fall into bed feeling drained and exhausted?

This is how many carers I work with tell me they feel. In addition to their caring responsibilities many carers also have a family and work outside the home.

Why you should put yourself on your to-do list

I encourage them to find time (whether that be daily, weekly or monthly) to look after their own health and well-being and put themselves on their to-do list. By not addressing their own needs and taking some time out they can start to feel stressed, depressed and resentful of their current situation.

I suggest that they ask themselves this question,

”If I’m too ill to do the caring, who is going to do it?”

Having some me-time will increase your mental and physical energy levels and encourage a more positive outlook on life.

Five ways to create ‘me-time’

1. Ask others for help

I’ve found that many carers don’t ask family members for help. Why is this? Is it because they fear rejection? Or that the person they ask may say they don’t know how to, or they don’t have the time? Don’t let these perceived reasons stop you from asking for help. Make it easy on them by suggesting ways they can help you. Suggest things like shopping, gardening, cleaning, collecting prescriptions etc. Then build up to them giving you an hour off caring so that you can spend time doing something for yourself.

2. Find a support group

Support groups for carers are few and far between but your local council should be able to help with a list of organisations. National organisations such as the Stroke Association, AgeUK and Cancer Support agencies provide different types of support for their service users. Ask your local group if they also run support groups specifically for carers so they can meet up, get support and share experiences.

3. Start your own support group

I worked with a client who couldn’t find a support group that suited her needs and the needs of the person she cared for, so she set up her own group. She found a local hall and invited a few other carers to join her. They started meeting once a week for a couple of hours. Within six months the group grew, and they now meet for three half-day sessions a week.

4. Plan an activity for you to do

Planning is inevitable when you’re a carer, right? So it’s a good idea to plan small sessions of me-time that you can take when you get time. Think of activities that take no more than 15 to 30 minutes to perform. This could be things like time in the garden, a relaxing bath, baking, at-home yoga, reading, writing, a craft project etc. Write each activity on a piece of paper and put them in a jar. Then when you find yourself with 30 minutes spare, take one from the jar and do that. Also, make a list of things you would like to do when you have more time. My list definitely includes having a treatment as this will give me the opportunity to totally relax and have some me-time.

5. Arrange to do something with someone elseFriends, me-time, carers

We all know that you’re more likely to show up if someone else has taken time out and committed to joining you. So, find a friend and make it a regular event – a coffee and a cake, a walk in the park, a monthly visit to the cinema, meditation session, yoga, pottery class etc. It doesn’t have to be anything big or grand, it just needs to be regular. Set a date and make it happen.

If you’re looking for ways to help you to relax, recharge and gain some focus and clarity, how about trying one of my downloadable products? These online products are designed to give you skills, tools and knowledge that allow you to make positive changes to your lifestyle to improve your health and well-being.

Take a look at my book, Self-care for Busy Women. It’s full of hints, tips, checklists and trackers and will show you how spending just a few minutes each day focusing on your mental, emotional and physical health can have a big influence on your mindset and well-being. You’ll also be able to create your own 28-day self-care plan that fits seamlessly into your busy lifestyle.

About Sharon

Sharon lSharon Taylor – Clinical Reflexologist & Reiki Practitioner | Complete Harmonyives with her partner, Geoff, in Warwickshire and they have two adult children. She worked for over 25 years in an office environment, gaining qualifications to degree level in finance, business and management. While there she witnessed and experienced many stressful situations and suffered stress-related illnesses.

Sharon was advised to make some changes to her lifestyle which included trying complementary therapies. After experiencing the benefits of complementary treatments, she decided to retrain and share her knowledge and experiences to help others recognise and manage their own physical and emotional stress and anxiety levels.

Sharon has been working as a complementary therapist for over 15 years now, and she loves helping people to feel uplifted, focused, positive and empowered about their lives.

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Complete Harmony

Middleton: Senses of Siam, No. 10 The Courtyard Centre, Middleton Hall B78 2AE

Telephone: 07751 942234

Email: sharon@complete-harmony.co.uk

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