5 Tips to Manage Stress & Take Advantage of Carers Support
Caring for a loved one is a large responsibility and it can leave you with little time to care for yourself or to leave the house. It is important to remember to care for yourself too and not neglect your own needs.
Stress can be detrimental to your health both physically and mentally. It can lead to a variety of issues such as difficulty sleeping, headaches, stomach aches, irritability, fatigue, anxiety and depression. At Northside, we offer a range of services for carers support.
The first step is to seek out support. From information resources to services, taking advantage of the support that’s available to you can make a huge difference in your day to day life. At Northside, we can find out what support you’re eligible for and tailor a plan to meet your needs. We understand every situation is different so it’s all about what’s going to be most helpful for you at this stage in your life.
We offer in home, emergency, overnight and flexible respite care so that you can feel supported as a carer while also juggling your own day to day demands such as work, childcare and interests.
Believe it or not, socialising with others and connecting with friends actually helps you to better cope with stress. Studies show socialising with others improves your mood and is a great way of giving and getting emotional support leading to better mental health. Having good social support could also reduce illness and make you more likely to live longer.
3. Getting Organised
If you have a busy schedule sometimes you neglect to make time for yourself and for self-care. Although it’s difficult to do when caring for a loved one, it is important to not overbook your schedule so you can fit in some ‘me-time.’ Allow time to do activities you enjoy and include small social events like having family or friends over for dinner on some nights. Make being social a first priority, even if this means you have to put other minor things like tidying your home second. To help you enjoy achieve this balance we provide help with cleaning, laundry, home maintenance, and meals in our carers support services. Let us take some of the load off your plate.
4. Avoid Bad Habits
In dealing with stress it can be easy to fall into bad habits as a way to cope but rather than helping us face the challenges these habits push them away and may make stress even worse. Resorting to cigarettes, binge eating or drinking is extremely dangerous and can cause heart attacks and cancer. Instead look for healthy alternatives such as meditation, exercise, swimming or yoga. Even taking a short 5-10 minute break to meditate can do wonders for your stress and the benefits continue long after your meditation session ends.
Doing new activities and activities that encourage creativity are an effective strategy against stress. The focus and emotional perspective that come through these acts can disrupt mental patterns of stress and help people to lead more fulfilling lives.
Some ideas to get you going are: try your hand at photography or painting, start a journal or write a book, listen to music with some hot tea, go for a bushwalk, enjoy a long bath, grow some vegetables or herbs, or try cooking something new.
At Northside, we organise a range of activities for adult carers and young carers and for people with disability, ageing, or mental health. Just recently we’ve held events for carers including the chance to attend the NRL Grand Final, social outings, and a wellness retreat coming up in late October.
If you’d like to participate in social activities and events or learn more about support for carers call us at 1300 134 334 or enquire online.
If you feel stress is overwhelming you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.