Supporting yourself while supporting others
When you become a source of support or care for someone in your life, be it a friend or family member, it can be easy to forget about your own well-being. Whether the person in question is dealing with a long-term issue, or you are simply helping someone through a tough time, try to keep the following suggestions in mind to stay healthy yourself:
Accept the situation
Sometimes the situations we find ourselves in are hard to accept, (for example if a loved one develops an illness), but by resisting what is happening, your anxiety is likely to spill over to the person suffering. Try to accept the situation for what it is to help lower stress and anxiety levels.
Find shortcuts for eating healthy
If you find yourself travelling a lot to support someone, healthy eating can go out the window in favour of snacking on the move. To keep your diet as healthy as possible, try to find some shortcuts – snack on easy to eat fruit (like grapes), get nutrients through smoothies or take advantage of pre-prepared salads.
Ask for help when you need it
Being the sole carer for another person can take its toll. Make sure you have a support network yourself for when things get too much. Having someone to ensure your fridge is stocked, or that that the kids are picked up from school can make a huge difference.
Take time to de-stress
Carve out some ‘me-time’ to help ease stress for your mental and physical well-being. Try meditation, yoga, a long walk or even a nice relaxing soak in the tub – anything that helps you to switch off from caring duties.
Talk about your concerns
If you are struggling with your role as a carer, don’t be afraid to seek professional support from a counsellor. Talking your concerns through with a professional can help you unload in a way that won’t make you feel guilty.