Looking after your health
Carers often find it a struggle to look after their own health whilst caring. It’s easy to forget to look after your own health needs whilst juggling everything else, but it’s important to take care of yourself.
Here are some general tips and resources to support you to look after your health whilst caring:
- Tell your GP that you are a carer - even if you feel you can cope at the moment, it's important to ensure that your GP is aware of the impact caring has on your health. Ways your GP can support you may include placing you on their Carers' Register, giving you information about local carer support, keeping a closer eye on your overall health, offering you a flu jab in the winter flu period (if eligible) and demonstrating greater flexibility when offering you appointments. You may wish to download our Carers GP Checklist and share it with your GP.
- Get enough sleep - many carers experience sleep difficulties due to stress and caring responsibilities. One of our trainers offers practical techniques to help you sleep better and feel more refreshed.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet - Eating a healthy, balanced diet can be a real struggle when you are caring. The NHS website has more information about adopting a healthier lifestyle. Your GP may also be able to offer you advice tailored to your situation.
- Relaxation time - carers are often 'time poor', but even setting aside a short period of relaxation time for yourself can make a difference. Our getting support page has more information on getting support to have a break. We also run a range of wellbeing activities at the Carers Support Centre, including massage, craft sessions, singing and dance.
- Talk to someone - if you are feeling stressed and want to speak to someone outside the situation, you can talk to an Advice Worker at the Carers Support Centre, call us on 020 8649 9339, option 1 or email email@example.com.
Please be aware the above information is for general information purposes only. If you need medical advice, speak to your GP or relevant health professional.
Our work with GPs
The Carers' Information Service Not Just a Patient report found that 82% of carers had never been informed about local carer support by their GP. Find out more about our research in Croydon GP services for carers and how we are working with GPs.