People who care for and about others need to remember that you matter too
These tips are for those in an unpaid caring role; however, we want to also acknowledge the appreciation to all those whose job and career is in the health and care sector.
We know people care and go beyond what is expected of them and that their workloads and commitments before, during and after the pandemic were high and continue to be so. There are pieces on our site which we hope you find useful.
People looking after a loved one may not see themselves as unpaid carer. They know what they are doing as an act of love because they care and feel responsible and want to help. There can be periods of illness in any family where we must look out for each other.
However, more people are finding they have longer-term caring commitments for an older relative or family member living with a long-term condition.
Long-term conditions can affect all generations, so that unpaid carers can be parents too.
While caring for someone we love can be rewarding, it can also bring its own stressors and challenges. It may even be we do not have a positive relationship with the person we are caring for.
There may even be some unresolved issues between you, but they are vulnerable now and need support, and you have a sense of duty to step in, even if you do not want to.
You may even find it hard to share with others how 'trapped' you feel as you do not want to be judged by others, and even having these thoughts makes you feel guilty, so you deny them even to yourself.
These tips do not replace professional advice, so please, if you find your caring role challenging, do speak to someone as you do matter too.
If ever you feel things are so overwhelming that you think of suicide, please remember the Samaritans are there 24/7 365 Tel 116 123.
There can be impacts on an individual who finds themselves putting time and energy into a caring role. This can include their mental health, physical health and feelings of isolation and disconnection.
More time is taking up looking after and being there for another that the time to spend with friends or hobbies becomes harder to find. It may even be caring responsibilities become so much that someone must give up work or even find problems in their other relationships as more time is taken up caring for someone and less and less time is available for other family members and responsibilities.
Feeling stuck in a demanding situation and not knowing what to do to meet everyone's needs. Is it little wonder how quickly unpaid Carers stop looking after their own well-being needs?
This is also why it matters. People know they matter too and can talk to someone when they need support.
The following tips do not have all the answers and may not share anything you do not know already.
Our hope in doing this was to say we care about you too; we recognise it is not easy and that sometimes we do not even see ourselves as a Carer.
However, thinking about this may help us find more support not only for the person we are caring for but also for ourselves.
People who care for and about others need to remember that you matter tooBuddha