Carers: The Importance of Taking a Break

Gracewell  |  July 26, 2016
Dedicating some time to yourself is crucial for your wellbeing.

Dedicating some time to yourself is crucial for your wellbeing. 

As a carer, you work hard each and every day to make a difference in someone else's life. The combination of strength, dedication and care you provide doesn't go unnoticed, and it may be greatly appreciated. But while you spend all of your time dedicated to looking after someone else, it's common to lose focus on taking care of yourself. As a carer, it's crucial to look after your own health and well-being. That's why it's so important to make time for a break, even if that means handing over the responsibility to someone else for a moment.

Understanding the importance of taking a carer's break
Caring for someone else often comes with forgetting to take care of yourself. But neglecting to put yourself first every once in a while can result in a lack of physical, emotional and social health. 

Physical health
When you don't make enough time for yourself, you forget how to take proper care of your physical body – between lack of sleep, consuming a bad diet or neglecting to make time for exercise, your well-being is often put on the back burner. It may be in your best interest to consult with your GP about taking a break, according to Age UK. They can offer you care, advice and support about how to regain or maintain your wellness. Start by setting aside enough time to get a full night of sleep, prepare well-balanced meals and get an adequate amount of exercise. Your first step might be to take a break so you have a clear mind to work out how you'll fit everything into your schedule.

Making the time to get enough sleep is crucial.Making the time to get enough sleep is crucial.

Emotional health
Unfortunately, stress is a common factor that comes with being a carer, according to Carers UK. Between setting aside enough time to care for your loved one and finding the energy to do so, the pressure can be intense. Taking a break gives you the opportunity to clear your mind and regain control of your mental and emotional health.

Social health
When was the last time you set aside time to spend with your family and friends? Have you enjoyed any of your favourite hobbies lately? "Me time" is extremely important as a carer – you deserve to dedicate some time to yourself. So whether that means treating yourself to a day at the spa with friends or simply socialising with the family, you deserve the break. Staying socially active is equally important to your emotional and physical health, so make it a point to schedule a little time off.