This year’s National Carers Week theme is ‘Carers Count’. Which is appropriate given that carer’s all too often put themselves last. This is, therefore, your reminder to put yourself first and make time for you at least once a day.

If you put yourself second 24/7, you will wear out and suffer from stress and burnout, sooner rather than later. Then where will you and your person be? Research shows that just five minutes of quiet time a day can have a positive impact on stress and cognitive function.

I can already hear you saying ‘yeah right if only I had 5 minutes’. To be honest, that’s what I used to say too. Until I received this golden nugget of advice… “Take a 5-10 minute holiday each day”. Even just saying the word holiday can help you feel relaxed.

So, what might your 5-10 minute holiday each day look like? It should be something that re-energises and nourishes you. It could be:

  • Putting your feet up and reading a book or magazine.
  • Meditating or some deep breathing.
  • Taking a walk.
  • Making a cuppa and actually sitting down to drink and enjoy it hot.
  • Listening to your favourite music, singing and dancing to it.

Making a real effort to find 5-10 minutes each day for you will do wonders – not just for you, but also the person you care for.

By Louise Jessop, Carer and student Social Worker.

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