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Health & Wellbeing 29th August 2019

Focusing on the well-being of carers

By Sophie Hibbert

According to the latest report published by Skills for Care, there are currently an estimated 1.49 million people working in adult social care across the UK. Everyday these carers make a significant difference to the lives of those they support. Often delivering so much more than just Health and Social care; developing strong relationships, providing companionship and in general improving the well-being of those they work with.

However, this skilled and unique position doesn’t come without its challenges, particularly in today’s difficult economic climate. It can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, so it is important for carers to take time out and focus on their own well-being. This isn’t always easy though, which is why it’s important for us as a society to take a step back and acknowledge the great work that is being delivered, and give something back to those who give so much to others.

Professional Care Workers Day…

On the 4 September, to celebrate the amazing work that carers deliver day in day out, the National Association of Care & Support Workers (NACAS), will be holding its second ‘Professional Care Workers Day’.

The national event, which is free to attend, will be held in London and will focus on the theme of ‘Well-being’. The aim of the day is to make carers feel special and help them to focus on their own physical and mental well-being. The day will offer free consultations and workshops with physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, beauty and massage therapists, money and career advice, along with more ways to help care workers look after themselves and feel better.

But what is well-being?

According to the oxford dictionary well-being is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. It is no surprise that our well-being can be affected, positively or negatively, by various different factors. Knowing what these factors are means that we can try and do more of the things that increase our positive well-being and less of the things that negatively affect it.

What can be done to help well-being?

As we are all different our well-being will be effected in different ways, however there are certain things we can try to improve it:

  • Staying Active
    It’s a well-known fact that exercise of any form can have a positive impact on our well-being. Studies have even shown that short stints of exercise can improve your mood. You don’t have to go crazy either, something as simple as getting up and going for a walk, or even pushing the hover around the house will help get your body moving and the endorphins flowing.
  • Talk to others
    We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and in many cases this is true. Talking about things when you are stressed or anxious can really help to release tension and worry. Confiding in someone you can trust can lead to you feeling more positive about yourself and the situation you are in and like a weight has been lifted.
  • Being Mindful
    Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. It is about focusing our attention on the here and now. Becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings and the physical world around us. Not thinking about things that have happened in the past or what we think might happen in the future. It’s simply about being in the now. Try and give it a go with this helpful guide on ‘Getting started with Mindfulness’
  • Sleeping well
    As humans we spend around a third of our lives sleeping, and there is good reason for this. Sleep is vital to our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Getting enough good quality sleep can have positive effects such as increasing attention span, strengthening the immune system and reducing stress levels.

Take time for yourself

As a carer, looking after your own well-being is just as important as helping to look after the well-being of those you support. Taking some time out to focus on yourself can have a significant impact on your overall physical, mental and emotional health. When we feel good in ourselves it often has a knock-on effect for those we interact with. So, take that time to make yourself a cuppa tea and just focus on yourself, get out for a nice brisk walk or get that early night you’ve been promising yourself.

How to attend the Professional Care Workers day…

If you’re carer or a provider who wants to celebrate the great work being delivered and are interested in taking advantage of the free services on offer at the Professional Care Workers Day, you can register here. If not you can still shout about and recognise those who make a difference every day on social media using the #ProfessionalCareWorkersDay hash tag.

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