Taking a break what should I do
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- Taking a break, respite care
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Taking a break from caring what should I do?
Full time caring can often creep up on you, starting as a quick helping hand and progressing to occupy much of your days and nights, so that you can become isolated and house bound.
Respite care can provide a break so that you can relax, have fun and relieve stress. However, when you’re used to concentrating all your attention on the needs of your loved one it can be tricky to adjust to having time to yourself. There are lots of ways to make the most of your free time, so that you can return to care giving happy, healthy and refreshed.
Fit for anything
Many people suffer from the responsibility and strains of caring. Exercise is the most effective stress-buster around, acting to protect both mind and body from the damaging impact of stress. It decreases muscular tension and stimulates the release of the body’s feel good hormone. Being physically fit will help you in your caring duties, increase your energy levels and help you sleep more easily.
Playing a sport can be especially beneficial because it requires intense focus, helping your mind switch off from the tensions of the day and allowing you time to recover. So, try and make exercise a regular part of your routine and consider joining a sporting group or club so that you can have fun, socialize and stay active.
Get out and about
Make sure you make time to do the activities you love, or maybe experiment to find new hobbies and interests. Many local authorities and carer services offer special cards for carers to get discounts on places to visit and things to do in your area. Also check out www.carersmart.org for offers and savings specifically for carers.
Mix and mingle
Make time to get together with friends and family. It’s easy to neglect relationships when caring occupies every waking moment-but sharing problems or enjoying time with others can be a source of real enjoyment and assistance. Research has shown that people with a close social circle receive support that offers them emotional protection during challenging times and may even prolong their lives.
Meeting with other carers can be an opportunity to share experiences, get tips or maybe just have a moan with other people who understand because they are going through the same thing. Local carer services frequently organize social events where you can get together, or look for local carer groups where you can meet and chat over a cup of tea.
If you get short periods of respite and find it difficult to leave the home and meet people, then think about getting together virtually. Online discussion forums are a wonderful way to share information, talk to others and take a break. Carers.org are a great resource and have a number of online communities: try Babble (for carers under eighteen), Matter (for teenagers and young adults from sixteen to twenty five) or the Carers Space, which is suitable for all adult carers.
Take time to do nothing
Carergivers are often so used to being busy all day, every day that they fill any respite time with chores, work and activities. Sometimes the time and space to read, sip a coffee in piece or sit in the sunshine can be all you need to soothe any tensions away.
Find out more about the range of respite care services that we offer throughout London.