Over the next week, 8th to 14th June, we’re going to be supporting Carers Week: The annual campaign that raises awareness of caring. We want to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities. We also wanted to show our support with a special offer, so continue reading to find out more.
There are around 6.5 million carers across the UK. These individuals make huge sacrifices to look after family or friends with illnesses or who need extra help as they grow older. They often sacrifice relationships, personal interests and even work, which can often impact on personal health and finances.
It is therefore vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and ensure that they get the support they need.
This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are in need of additional support.
They need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.
If you’re a carer we would firstly like to thank you for all your continued hard work and unwavering support. You do an amazing job! Although caring for someone can be satisfying and rewarding, without the right support caring can have a significant impact on physical and mental well-being.
Tips on Caring for Yourself
Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation. With this in mind we wanted to share some suggestions on the steps you can take to look yourself and maintain good mental health.
Take some time for YOU
Having time off isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. According to The Happiness Index, taking a break can:
- Reduce stress levels
- Increase performance
- Reduce health problems and further absences
- Increase motivation.
Explore different possibilities for allowing some time away, even if it’s just for a day, afternoon or evening.
You should never feel like you have to carry on alone. There are a number of fantastic organisations supporting Carers Week who are ready and able to offer support.
- Carers Trust support Carers in their homes through the provision of grants and replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks.
- Carers UK want carers to know they are not alone. They exist to listen, give expert information and advice, campaign for lasting change and find new ways to support carers with their caring role.
- Rethink Mental Illness can help people severely affected by mental illness to improve their lives. They have a dedicated hub for carers so do check it out.
There are many more organisations that exist to help and support carers, so follow the link to find out more.
The Mental Health Foundation recommends doing some sort of physical activity everyday because it has a huge potential to enhance our overall well-being. Joining a class can also get you meeting and reconnecting with people, which can improve your sense of belonging and self-worth. Some of the team at Simple Will regularly enjoy running, Karate and Golf.
If you can’t afford or commit to attending a class there are lots of ways to enjoy exercising for free.
- Couch to 5k: This is a free app developed by Public Health England and BBC Sport. It takes you through a series of sessions and promises to get you running 5k within 9 weeks.
- Walk everywhere: Walking is fantastic exercise, easy and free. Try walking as much as possible and fitting more walks into your routine. (Put the car keys down!)
- Online workouts: There is an almost infinite amount of free online workouts available on platforms like Youtube. You can follow along from the comfort of your own home without forking out for gym membership. Fitness Blender have a really good channel full of cardio workouts. If you can, try to get into a routine of working out. The more disciplined you are, the more effective your exercise will be.
Make and Mend
Evidence suggests that there are a lot of cognitive benefits to crafting and creativity. Crafts such as knitting, sewing, painting and drawing keep the mind active and the repetitive motion encourages calm and clarity. Activities like puzzles, games, jigsaws and can also help improve mindfulness and wellbeing.
A clear mind begins with a clear home. During Mental Health Week we created a guide on how to organise and manage your paperwork at home. We explored how mess and clutter can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, lead to overstimulation and cause increased levels of frustration. Use your time in lock down wisely to tackle your paperwork.
Build your self-worth
All of the things we have suggested above are proven to increase happiness. Whenever you do something to improve your physical and mental health you’re also nurturing your own value and sense of self-worth. So, stick at it and take care of YOU!
A Special Offer for Carers
During Carers Week we want to help all carers. This is why we’re offering you the chance to get a free Will written by our team professional Will Writers when you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Why an LPA?
Lasting Power of Attorney gives carers the legal power to manage finances and make decisions about care on behalf of someone else. If you’re caring for someone that might benefit from having a LPA in place, then please take a look at how Lasting Power of Attorney can help.
Why a FREE Will?
Have you ever thought about what would happen to the person you care for if something were to happen to you? We’re offering carers the chance to put clear details in place so that your dependents continue to get the best possible care. A Will allows you to identify new carers or guardians (for anyone under the age of 18) and helps you to establish ways of providing on-going financial support.
If you’re a registered carer and would like more details then please call or contact us today to talk through your options.
Take Care Of Yourself
During Carers Week we’d really like to see Carers get the appreciation and support that they deserve. As the Coronavirus pandemic continues carers will face more challenges and more responsibilities at the cost of making more sacrifices.
We’d like to recognise carers across the country for their commitment and dedication but also remind them of the importance of taking care of themselves. Whether this is by gaining support, making more time for themselves or making a conscious decision to nurture their well-being.
We’d also like to offer our support by reminding carers that they can reach out to us for legal or financial advice and take advantage of our special offer. Contact us today!