Six self-care steps to better mental health
Alert-iT specialise and are experts in providing Assistive technology to support Carer’s which we call “Plesio Care” and with the aim to offer Less stress Care for people supporting Children and adults with Epilepsy and other care situations.
We repeatedly receive feedback how our technology has helped families and parents to improve their sleep patterns and potentially enabling more free time in the evening.
These steps provide have been compiled from research and conversations with parents and Carers and is intended for information purposes only.
Thank you for reading,
The Alert-iT Team.
In conversation with carers….about mental health
With it being mental health week this week, we thought it would be a good time to talk about the importance of taking care of yourself as a caregiver. Our team who look after our Pulse Companion, a heart variant monitor alarm system, speak to carers on a daily basis. So, we asked them to share some tips about they look after their mental health.
Whether you are a parent, a relative or an employed carer, caring can be extremely rewarding. But it can also be emotionally and physically exhausting, so it’s important to make time to look after your physical and mental health and take some time for “self-care”.
If you are feeling at your best and you are well rested, you will have more energy and patience and will be in a better position to support those you are looking after.
But with limited free time available, where should you start with self-care? Here we’ve pulled together six simple tips from carers which will help you to step up with your own self-care to prevent you feeling wiped out.
A good night’s sleep is the best medicine
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest impact factors on mental health, and if you’re a carer this is a particularly tricky one. Try to go to bed at a reasonable time every night. Whilst it’s tempting to sit scrolling through your phone or watching TV, try to stop electronics at least an hour before bedtime, helping to give your brain some time to wind down. If you get into bed, but can’t sleep there are some great pillow sprays which can help ease you off to the land of slumber. When you’re caring for someone you can often be a light sleeper and it helps to look at what technology can help you sleep more soundly. The Pulse Companion helps parents, carers and wearers across the UK get a better night’s sleep. As a heart variant monitor, the alarm sounds on the pager when there is a heart rate change, giving the carer the much-needed advanced warning that a seizure could be imminent. It’s trusted by parents who need a night’s sleep. They say its life-changing knowing that an alarm will wake them if needed.
You are what you eat
It’s that simple, and when you’re tired it’s easy to reach for the sweet treats, but you won’t feel full of energy and prepared for your day if you do not start the day right nutritionally. If you follow the simple rule, ‘eat the rainbow’, try and get as much colour as you can on your plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your plate looks beige, that’s probably how it will make you feel. Try to include as many fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy protein, in your meals as you can. If breakfast is where it all goes wrong due to lack of time, start preparing it the night before. You can find some great recipes on BBC Good Food or invest in a Nutribullet where you can create a healthy smoothie breakfast in a glass, in seconds. Also, keep hydrated as dehydration makes you so tired. One tip is to keep a glass by the kettle, whenever you put the kettle on drink a glass of water, before you know if you’ll feel energised.
Although it’s hard after a long day, taking some time to do some exercise can fill you with energy and can help to keep you healthy and well. A gentle walk signals that it’s the end of the day, but if you’re a morning person, a quick walk before work can work wonders too.
If you can’t get out, any type of exercise can be a great mood lifter too. Why not sign up for an exercise class online? Music is always good for the soul and there are many free classes on YouTube.
Make sure that you reward yourself, whether it be letting yourself have the time to watch a special programme or film, or, it may be a longer-term goal such as saving for a holiday to a dream destination. Having short term rewards help you to keep going this week and the long-term goals help you to focus on the future and give you something nice to work towards.
Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help and accept the help you’re offered. In the UK we’re sometimes so proud that we won’t accept help. People only offer to help if they want to. Helping makes people feel good, so pack your pride away and help someone to feel good, let them help. If you’re too embarrassed, you shouldn’t be, try speaking to family or your GP, but if that doesn’t feel right to you, that’s ok. There’s lots of services who are there for you 24/7, such as Mind and The Samaritans. But please make sure you speak to someone; it doesn’t matter who.
We often talk about being kind to others and that society needs more kindness, but what about being kind to yourself? Juggling care alongside children, a career or just life in general can be tough and sometimes too much. Be realistic with expectations on yourself. Write a list of what you need to do and see is there anything on the list you could delegate to a relative or leave for another time? We can’t do everything, practice makes progress, and sometimes you just must accept that you are doing your best, and that your best is enough.
This blog was prepared by https://alert-it.co.uk/ to help carers as part of Mental Health Week 2020 which takes place from 18th-24th May.
Alert IT do not accept any responsibility for any third-party products linked in this article.