Taking Care of Yourself Checklist
As a carer, you may be so focused on the person you care for that you don’t realise your own health and well being is suffering.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- I have trouble sleeping due to broken sleep and as a result, I am frequently fatigued
- I often experience headaches and muscle tension
- Sometimes my heart will race and I perspire with no obvious cause
- I find myself overeating even when I am not hungry;
- I have recently experienced considerable weight loss (or weight gain)
- I often feel tense, impatient, resentful or irritable
- I have low or no self-esteem
- I have become forgetful and indecisive
- I feel depressed, helpless, anxious or guilty
- I often feel negative about things, withdrawing from other people or from activities I used to enjoy
- I have been over-indulging in alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or gambling
If you answered “yes” to just 1 or 2 of these questions
You are in a good position to handle your stress before it gets out of hand. Contact us on 1800 422 737 and explore some of the ways we can help you to take time out for yourself.
If you answered “yes” to 3 or 4 of these questions
It’s time to look closely at getting additional support for yourself. If you are not getting regular breaks from your caring role, call 1800 422 737 and explore some of the options for taking a break that may be available to you.
If you answered “yes” to 5 or more of these questions
It may be time to take a step back from your caring role to focus on your own health. In the first instance, it is a good idea to do a health care plan with a trusted GP who is aware of your situation in your caring role.
You should also call us on 1800 422 737 and discuss your options for taking a break from your caring role.
Having a good GP who understands my situation helps. I see her on a regular basis
How We Can Help You to Look After Yourself
Linking You to Services and Support | It’s common for carers to feel guilty about asking for help but it is important to know that you are not alone. We understand what you are going through and can guide you through the processes of finding support. Contact us on 1800 422 737 for a confidential discussion about your situation.
Taking a Break | Everybody needs time for themselves now and then to de-stress and recharge. We can help you find the right type of service or support that will let you take some much needed time out. Contact us on 1800 422 737 to find out how.
Talking It Out | Sometimes it can be helpful to just get things off your chest and talk it out. Why not try talking to our experienced counsellors. or try the phone-based counselling service on the Carer Gateway.
Knowing You Are Not Alone | The caring role can be isolating which is why it is important to know that you aren’t alone. Why not join one of carers support groups and share your experiences and knowledge with other carers. Or join the online community forum and talk to other carers when it suits you.
Educate yourself | Empowering yourself with knowledge and skills can help you feel more in control. This can mean learning more about the condition that the person you care for from suffers from, or acquiring new knowledge or skills to assist you in your caring role. Our education program covers a range of topics such as manual handling, computer use, dementia information, first aid and continence management. We also have financial support opportunities for carers who are interested in undertaking further education or training. There are also a set of skills courses on the Carer Gateway to provide you with knowledge to help you in your caring role.
Social activities | Spending time with other people in a relaxing environment can help to revitalise your spirits. Our social program has opportunities for carers to get together and share some fun such as going to the movies, a craft group, lunches and dinners; art gallery tours and more. We can arrange for replacement care in your absence and also assist with transportation. Visit What’s On to find an activity
Therapeutic Supports | We host a variety of regular activities for carers to assist with relaxation and stress management. Why not try one of our yoga, tai chi or meditation classes or join one of our walking groups. We can help arrange replacement care in your absence and also assist with transportation. Visit What’s On to find a class.
Avoid isolation – foster friendships, by phone if personal contact is unreliable due to uncertainty of caring role. Keep fit – walk, swim – stress management is important. Have a conference with relatives – agree on division of care, sharing of responsibilities – be specific on commitments. Take a break..
Links to Other Supports
Carers Gateway Online Education Dealing with Stress
The Next Step Mental Health coaching service is a low intensity, confidential support service to help people tackle day to day pressures. It is provided at no cost to the participants.
MindSpot Online Assessment and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression
The MindSpot Clinic is a free service for Australian adults who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood. The MindSpot Clinic provides online Screening Assessments and Treatment Courses, or can help connect you to local services.
This Way Up
THIS WAY UP online courses have been clinically proven to help people with management of their own wellbeing. This Way Up is a not-for-profit online initiative of the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, UNSW at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. Some of the courses are free and others are low cost.
Head to Health
Head to Health can point you to great online mental health resources and services to suit your needs. Whether you want to improve your overall sense of wellbeing or you need help with someone you care about.