Daily Mail

Carer? Here’s how to avoid burnout


BEING a carer for others is a kind, compassion­ate and highly valuable role, often involving considerab­le time and mental effort with little recognitio­n of its true impact. So it’s easy to neglect the small things that contribute toward your own health and wellbeing. ‘Many informal carers may feel guilty about taking time out for themselves. But remember, you’re doing the best you can with what you have, which may look different each day, so be kind to yourself,’ says occupation­al therapist Kate Sheehan (inset), of stairlift and home lift company Stannah. She advises carers to: TAKE a break: If you feel able, take time away from your caring role to do things that you enjoy, such as walking or going to the gym. If you are creative, do some drawing or painting or an activity you can easily pick up and put down. ▪ BE REALISTIC: Overschedu­ling appointmen­ts or creating long to-do lists, which you are then unable to complete, may result in feelings of frustratio­n or disappoint­ment. Establish what is realistica­lly achievable.

▪ Try to open up: Consider sharing how you feel with someone, whether a friend, fellow carer or a profession­al. While practical support can be beneficial, so can a listening ear.

▪ COULD technology help? Automatic dispensers alert people when it is time to take medicines, while chair sensors and pagers notify you when the person you care for needs support or tries to get up unaided, so you can leave the room without worrying.

To help protect your mental health, it’s important to practice self-compassion and try to understand your limits. recognisin­g the early warning signs of fatigue will help you take proactive steps to rest, relax and avoid burnout.

 ?? Pictures: STANNAH ??
Pictures: STANNAH

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