5 ways to healthily cope as a carer


Being a carer is a challenging journey as it can be emotionally and physically taxing. However, the experience is also incredibly rewarding, providing a sense of purpose and fulfilment that is hard to match.

Whether caring for a loved one or working in a professional healthcare setting, carers face a range of challenges that can impact their well-being, so it’s important to look out for signs of burnout. Here are 5 tips for healthy coping as a carer:

1. Practice self-care

Ensuring that they prioritise self-care is one of the most essential things for carers to do. It is easy to become consumed with the responsibilities of taking care of someone else, but it is critical to set aside time for self-care activities like working out, pursuing hobbies, or socialising with friends and family.

According to a study published in BMC Public Health, practising self-care has been linked to lower levels of caregiver burden and improved quality of life for carers. 

2. Seek support and guidance

Carers have multiple resources at their disposal, including support groups, counselling services and online forums, where they can engage with other people facing similar challenges and receive the necessary support, advice and motivation to effectively manage the challenges at hand.

The Carer Gateway website, run by the Australian Government, provides a wealth of resources for carers, including a national phone line, online forums, and a directory of local support services. 

3. Take a break

Taking breaks from caregiving is essential to recharge and avoid burnout, which can involve taking time for yourself and seeking assistance from loved ones or professional caregivers. A study published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology said that taking a break from caregiving has been linked to lower levels of caregiver stress and depression. 

4. Communicate with your loved one

Open and honest communication with your loved one can help you both understand and manage their needs and preferences. This can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed. 

5. Be self-aware of the negative effects

It’s also important for carers to be aware of the potential negative effects of caring for their own health and to take steps to prevent or address these. This can entail maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough rest, and exercising frequently. Caregivers should be aware of the symptoms of burnout and seek assistance if they feel helpless or overwhelmed.

To maintain a healthy balance as a carer, it is important to practice self-care, seek support from others, and prioritise one’s own health and well-being. These efforts can help carers sustainably care for their loved ones while also taking care of themselves. 

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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