My own health and wellbeing

You can neglect their 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, it’s essential that you look after your own health, both physical and emotional, and to build in time for yourself. Doing activities that you enjoy and that are fun can make it easier to cope when things are difficult.

Physical health

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.

Emotional health

How stress affects us and the need to look after our own 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:

Counselling

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:

Befriending

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 some time out from caring

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.

Walk and Talk

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

Further help and advice

Find out more about how you can look after your own 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