For anybody that is looking after a child that needs that bit more care, your love runs deep, deeper than everything. When your child has a disability, or if you are a carer to somebody, it can make a massive difference to your life. Stress is one of those things that are incredibly deep-rooted in this respect. And it can be a major attack on your senses and judgements, and when we are looking after someone with this much care and attention, you are very likely to neglect yourself. So if you are faced with this situation, what is the best way to keep on top of the basics of looking after yourself?

 

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Having Regular Check-ups

From the optometrist to the general practitioner, to your hearing, you need every single faculty. People tend to neglect themselves because of the needs of their loved one, and this can be very dangerous for you. You need to look after them, so the best way to do this is to look after yourself! This needs to be done regardless of your age, but if you are one of those parents with a child that is actually all grown up, you need to make sure that you are fighting fit so you can look after them as best as you can.

Physical Exercise Is Essential

You can argue that it is very difficult to fit in, with your intense care schedule. And yes it is difficult, but every little helps when it comes to exercising. A lot of people think that exercising is about going to the gym 5 times a week, for a couple of hours at a time, and while you don’t have this luxury at all, remember the goal of exercise and health is to get the heart pumping. So you can do something like high-intensity training quickly, in the space of a couple of minutes if you are clever enough. Remember, you need to build up to this level of intensity, there is no point going from 0 to 100, because it will put you off getting fit, and it won’t do you any favors. If you really do have the time, you could go to a class, and there is another benefit to this…


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Making Time For Yourself

You probably never think about this, but to get the benefits of rest and recuperation, you don’t need to spend weeks away at a time; you can spend a small amount of emotional free time. What this means is that if you can take the mental load of being a carer off for just a short amount of time, this will benefit you in terms of how much it can reduce stress. It can be difficult at the start to try and get yourself away for a small period of time, but even an hour a week is better than nothing. This is why support groups are a fantastic option; you are meeting people who are going through exactly the same thing as you. And maybe you don’t want to talk about your troubles with everyone, but the fact that you are all going through the same thing is relief enough.

It’s the most difficult and the most rewarding thing in the world, but if you cannot cope with looking after your loved one, you need to look at yourself to see if you are running on empty. Look after yourself, and you will do a much better job!