Top tips for carers

Are you caring for someone with a primary immunodeficiency and feeling drained and tired? Then this page gives you some top tips for looking after yourself.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone has bad days.
  • If possible, get out of the house for a while. Go on an outing.
  • Speak to people who make you feel positive.
  • Make a list of the things you’re grateful for.
  • Take one thing at a time and just breathe.
  • Get enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation is a well-known cause of depression, and being tired does nothing for your mood.
  • A pamper session in the bath can help: bubbles, oils, music, a good book.
  • Sing along loudly to a CD in the car.
  • Remember that you are not only a carer; there is more to you than that.
  • Don’t forget to keep busy. It tends to be harder to fight the urges to cope in negative ways when you are alone.
  • Rather than fighting and trying to make it a good day, it helps to write it off as a bad day and look to tomorrow to have a better day.
  • Organise your problems; if it’s tomorrow’s problem, then worry about it then.
  • Some say a change is as good as a break. Bringing some flowers into the house or even wearing a nice jumper or something bright can put us in a different mindset.
  • Compile a ‘happy box’. Treat yourself with a collection of items that you love and put them all in a box. When you feel the need, open the box and take something or everything out.
  • If possible, take some form of exercise to help lift your mood. Walking, swimming, yoga or gardening, whatever works for you.
  • Certain foods (e.g. chocolate and curry) have ingredients in them that can help with low moods.
  • If your list of ‘to-do’s’ is overwhelming, get a timer and give yourself a set time in which to do whatever you like. 15 minutes to read or 30 minutes to do nothing. Make it your time.
  • Take time to be creative. Get the paints out, write a story or poem, play an instrument or do something else that takes your mind off things.
  • Try to have a rough plan not more than you can handle, but enough to give you a basic routine to the day.
  • Remember, you are not alone.

We are grateful to Carers UK for this information.

Posted May 2015