My own health and wellbeing

You can neglect your own health and wellbeing when you are busy caring and thinking about the person you care for. 

Often carers have little free time and therefore stop doing things that they enjoy. Eating well and exercising can also fall by the wayside.

However, you must look after your health, both physical and emotional, and build in time for yourself. Doing activities that you enjoy and that are fun can make it easier to cope when things are difficult.

Most people feel better if they eat well and exercise.

But sometimes these things are not easy to fit in.  Think about the best time to fit this in and then try to get into the habit of doing it. It’s easy to drop the things you do for yourself when you are putting others’ needs before your own so give the same importance to the things that you would like to do.

There are lots of websites that offer useful ideas and information for carers:

For unpaid carers who cannot get to the gym, there is an excellent set of new inclusive activity and wellbeing videos from Carers UK.

Featuring real carers with professional instructors, they have been specially designed for all abilities and for those who would prefer to be active at home.

If you’re looking to get more active, it’s worth a visit to Carers UK’s Carers Active Hub. The Hub has lots of resources and support for carers to become more active, including: 

  • Physical activity and wellbeing videos – short video workouts and bitesize exercises
  • Health information – key recommendations and how to get started
  • Activity ideas – inspiration and resources to help carers find something they enjoy
  • Carers’ stories – carers share their experiences of getting active while caring
  • Expert advice – insight from health and social care professionals

How stress affects us and the need to look after our mental health is becoming more widely recognised. 

It’s not easy to cope with anxiety, low mood and feeling overwhelmed but there are some steps you can take to reduce stress and help you feel more in control. Here are some things that might help:

Talking about how you feel could really help you manage any difficult feelings and sharing problems can lighten the load.

The local NHS Wellbeing service offers free courses, groups and one-to-one support to people experiencing stress, low mood and anxiety:

Conversation, companionship and emotional support can help you cope with the sense of loneliness and isolation that you might feel as a result of your caring role.

Taking any time out to do something you enjoy is a good start, whether that’s going for a walk, reading or meeting up with a friend. If you can try to build this into your routine and get into the habit of doing it, that may help you keep to it.

Meditation and mindfulness are becoming more popular and relaxing therapies like massage can be a good way to take some time out. These kinds of things can be expensive, but you can use your Carers Emergency Card to get discounts from local therapists.

Some local colleges also offer reduced cost therapies:

You could try a meditation or mindfulness course or class. There are various options locally.

Our friendly support worker leads group walks offering a listening ear and providing support to help carers in your caring role.

Find out more about how you can look after your health and wellbeing:

If it’s hard for you to get out, there are various free on-line courses for carers collated by Carers Trust.

Page last updated 12.04.23