When you are caring for others, it’s important you H.A.L.T and take a moment for yourself.
It is important that you take care of your own health, even if you are busy looking after someone else’s. Being healthy is not only important for you, but it also helps the person you are caring for too.
The acronym H.A.L.T, is basically a tool to help you remember to action self care, one thing most of us carers have never done well for ourselves.
Are you Hungry? When did you last eat?
Finding something nutritious to snack on when you’re busy taking care of someone else can be tricky. Why not prepare some finger foods that can be easily accessed even if you are busy doing other things. Some of our personal favourites are homemade oat biscuits, carrots and hummus, apples and bananas. Keeping your energy levels up and ensuring your body is always adequately nourished not only prevents illness but it can help you maintain good mental health too.
Are you Angry?
Being happy all the time isn’t a realistic life goal in our opinion. Life in all it’s beauty brings a wealth of emotions and anger is one of them. If you have things going on in your own life and you feel inheritable of angry there are places to go and support groups to call, you’re never alone. Always ask yourself, what are you dealing with right now that is stressful?
Anger or any negative emotion is normally triggered by fear. Take a look at what personal things you need to feel more balanced with to be the best you. Being a carer can be emotionally and physically hard work so it’s important to take stock of what in your life needs to be changed to make you feel more balanced and peaceful. We love the information offered on the Carers UK website, take a look at some take a break ideas and self care advice.
Are you Lonely?
If the majority of your clients are housebound and you’re getting in too late to see your own friends and family, one it might time to readdress your hours to suit your personal needs and two, there maybe ways of incorporating connecting with other into your clients home. Perhaps your client would like to invite a friend or a community member over for lunch and you could help host? Or maybe a beautician could be booked for a hand massage? Try to think of ways to involve others into your daily routines to avoid loneliness and boredom.
Are you Tired?
Have you been getting enough rest and giving your body what it needs? Exercise and stretching? When you take on the responsibility of someone else’s care this is physically and mentally a lot to take on so it’s vital you take enough rest. Think about what makes you energised and relaxed and ensure you make time for that