50 ways to cope as a carer

Matthew Mckenzie (2)Welcome to another blog post from a carer in South London. It has been a while since I have last posted anything, but this is due to spending my attention making videos on my video channel. I have also been quite busy editing my newspaper, which is always worth a read.

Anyway, I thought to post ways to cope as a carer. Basically a carer is someone looking after a loved one, or someone close. An important fact is carers are unpaid and often have to struggle to get recognition. A carer is not a care worker, they are unpaid and not emotionally attached to who they work for.

Since carers struggle to cope due to spending so much time caring and worrying for who they care for, I hope these tips will provide some benefit, as a note anyone can also incorporate these ideas for wellbeing.

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1. Read a magazine

It is difficult to get much rest as a carer, even if not doing chores for the ‘cared for’, there is usually an element or worry or concern. It can be very hard to switch off, so reading a magazine can provide a way to focus on your interests.

2. Getting some sleep

One of the most basic tips as a carer is to get some sleep, it depends of course if the carer is not overwhelmed by tasks or emotionally drained.

3. Close your eyes

Another basic way of shutting out the world, you do not have to focus on sleeping, but it is a good way to slow things down. Closing ones eyes could end up with the person sleeping, but the main point is to shut things out for a while.

4. Drawing

Another way of focusing attention off caring for a while. The good thing about drawing is that anyone can do it, as long as you have drawing utensils and paper. Drawing also allows you to be creative and express yourself.

5. Write a thank you note

Another way of coping and feeling better about yourself is sending a ‘thank you’ note. Carers can send a note to a health professional or an advocate who has done the carer a good job.

6. Count to 100 when stressed

Carers, especially mental health carers can sometimes end up in an argument with whoever they are trying to support. Its helpful to find methods or a way to cope if becoming stressed and a good way to do this is count down or up to a certain number.

7. List for the future

Not always so easy to do, sometimes we could say listing for the future is a frightening thought, but it can also be a coping mechanism in order to avoid too much chaos in one’s life. Even if not tasked for a coping mechanism, it is important to try plan for the future as a carer.

8. Inspirational quotes

I recently made a video about quotes that can inspire as a carer, I am bound to make some more. You can view the video below. Quotes can inspire and help us deal with difficult situations and can quickly affect our mood.

9. Compliment yourself

Not only for carers, but for anyone. If we are dealing with a difficult situation, we often can fail and this can lead to us blaming ourselves when things go wrong. Taking time out to compliment ourselves can remind us that we deserve a break and that we are not as we make ourselves out to be.

10. Visualization

A difficult coping method. Visualization is a powerful coping mechanism when things get really difficult as a carer. We can visualize our problems away, visualize ideas and focus on something else rather than a stressful situation.

11. Smile at others

Not always so easy and does depend on the environment. As a carer, smiling at others, especially if their world is falling apart can actually help towards people supporting you. Smiling at other people can also brighten up the persons day and make you more approachable.

12. Do your tasks

Not for everyone, doing a set of tasks before they day gets to an end can make someone feel a lot better about things being done. With carers it might be never ending, but worth trying to get most things out of the way.

13. Notice 4 things you see (stop and look)

Can be very difficult to do because we have to try suddenly focus on outside appearances. Learning to stop and focus on something else requires habit forming, it is a way of limiting stress or depression getting out of control. A difficult, but brilliant coping mechanism, which basically requires a person to simply stop what they are doing and just look around them for 3 to 4 items around the room as a way to bring them out of depressing cycles.

14. Relaxation applications

Due to the increase usages of the internet, mobile phones and other gadgets. It is only a matter of time before we as carers take full advantage of what is on offer. Most relaxation applications are free, so its worth downloading an app to see how it can make your role as a carer easier to cope with.

15. Watch a funny movie

One of the most easiest coping tip. Taking time out to watch something you enjoy can reap a whole lot of benefits.

16. Cook something

Not for everyone, although cooking can be therapeutic. Plus cooking can also be a chore that is done for the day.

17. Plan a trip

Carers often look for a break from their caring role and there can be nothing better then planning for a trip, even if a carer is not able to take that trip, planning for a gateway can at least remove us from the present situation for a while.

18. Identify your emotions

Highly important as a carer and can help with deescalation techniques. Carers who are under too much pressure can find themselves becoming so unwell that they end up using the mental health services. It is important carers take time out to find out what their emotions are in order to regulate them.

19. Express your feelings to someone close

Some people cope by expressing their thoughts or feelings, as long as those thoughts are not combative or too negative, it is a perfect way of getting rid of something bothering them.

20. Write your thoughts

If expressing thoughts or feelings to others is too difficult, then writing about them is also a very good way of coping as a carer.

21. Identify any thought positive

Absolutely a must. To pick up positive thoughts about ourselves can help us cope throughout the day, not easy to do, but the effect is high impact and lasting.

22. Schedule your day

Another coping mechanism that can limit the chaos in a carers life. Its always important to try get the easier tasks out of the way then focus on the more difficult situations.

23. List 10 positives about yourself

A good thing about this tip is that it can be stored somewhere so a carer can look at them later. Think very hard on what you need to write, what we make of ourselves can define us.

24. Tell someone your appreciate them

Not always so easy to do when under pressure, but can be a good way to cope as a carer because it is a form of expression and forming closer bonds.

25. Ask for help

A critical method regarding coping strategies, it can be very difficult to cope as a carer by themselves, so having to ask for help allows others to help you cope. Think of going to a local carer center or looking into your rights as a carer.

26. Listen to peaceful sounds

An excellent way of coping as a carer, it can be useful to block out distressing thoughts and sounds.

27. Taking deep breaths

Similar to counting to a certain number, but more powerful due to certain situations. If we can regulate our breathing during stressful situations, it can make us become calmer.

28. Do something positive

Sometimes a carers role can be extremely tiring and stressful, it might become a point where a carer feels unappreciated and that can actually be quite common. Doing something positive for someone or something can allow us to feel more appreciated. Think of volunteering for something, but do not allow it to eat up into your role as a carer or your own free time.

29. Exercise

The number one of coping strategies and a perfect way to keep yourself fit. Any exercise is good as long as you sweat and feel a little tired.

30. Think of something funny

Not as easy as it seems, since we spend most of our time worrying or thinking about the past, especially on “If Only scenarios”. Thinking of something funny can have a large affect on how we feel about ourselves and also give us a lighter outlook.

31. Take a brief walk

Not as physical as exercising, but walking does help, especially if things get too much. Removing ourselves from a situation, especially an argument can be a very good coping mechanism.

32. Do some Yoga

A long term method for coping and some carers centres actually have yoga sessions. It is worth following these sessions up and learning some yoga.

33. Stretch

Easy to do, but difficult to remember on when one needs to stretch. As with the mind, the body can suffer if we get to stressed and focused on negative situations, remembering to stretch and be a good way of coping as a carer.

34. Listen to music

If not able to watch a movie, it is worth taking time out to listen to your favorite songs.

35. Get Some Rest

Not the same as getting sleep, but taking time out even if to sit down can help you cope as a carer.

36. Positive self talk

This can be used with quotes, listing positive thoughts and so on. Unfortunately it does require a bit of habit forming, but positive self talk allows for carers to cope easier within their role.

37. Talk to a friend

A highly recommended tip for coping as a carer, if things get too much, speaking to a close friend has a high impact on the coping situation.

38. Getting therapy.

This depends on what is needed, can vary from talking to an advocate to private sessions, not always a common method for carers due to costs and time, but useful if there are limited options.

39. Meditate

Easy to start, but often hard to continue daily. Meditation can be a powerful way of calming the mind and slowing down the world, remember to meditate on what is noticed rather than just calming the mind straight away.

40. Use a stress ball

Worth getting hold of in order to cope, the last thing a carer should do is take out their frustrations on the ‘cared for’, tragic as it is, there are always other options to destress and a stress ball is so cheap to get hold of and use.

Here are some you can purchase from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stress+ball

41. Dance

Similar to exercising, dancing can be a great way of coping in difficult situations.

42. Hug someone close

Being close to someone even if its not the ‘cared for’ can help on a carers emotions.

You can watch the rest of my coping tips and ideas in a video I have made. Good luck on your caring journey.

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