Go to the doctor and get routine exams and flu shots. See Setting Goals and Communicating with Health Professionals.
Get enough sleep. Ask for help if caring has become round-the-clock, see hse.ie Health A-Z Insomnia.
Try to stay physically active or start to exercise. You don’t need to run a marathon to be active. If you can’t find time for a block of exercise then make all exercise count, even daily household chores can improve your health like sweeping, hovering, gardening and walking to the shop. By doing these you can keep or at least partly restore endurance, balance, strength and flexibility. Exercise also helps you sleep better, it reduces tension and depression and increases energy and alertness. Perhaps the person you care for can walk or do stretching exercises with you. If you can find the time then find an activity you enjoy. Walking is one of the best and easiest exercises and is a great way to get started.
Did you know?
- Walking 30 minutes a day, most days of the week is very useful. If you can't get away for that long, try to walk for as long as you can whenever you can.
- Walking around the shops is still exercise or you could make use of a nearby park. Work walking into your life.
- Walking with a friend can have the added benefit of a chance to chat and offload.
Find more activities in your area on www.getirelandactive.ie
As a carer you may worry a lot about what others are eating, and forget about your own nutrition. It is important that you eat a nutritious balanced diet that will keep you healthy rather than foods that contain little nutrition and won’t provide you with energy when you need it most . Eating regular meals and drinking plenty of water is key. Further information on the food pyramid and healthy eating is available on www.healthpromotion.ie, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute www.indi.ie and www.safefood.eu has tips, recipes and fact sheets.
If you think smoking, drinking alcohol or taking other substances are damaging your health, there is help available if you want to make that change. For help, information and advice to quit smoking see www.Quit.ie. Drug and alcohol information and support in Ireland is available from www.drugs.ie or the HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline 1800 459 459
Learn techniques that will help keep you well such as minding your back by taking a manual handling class. Your local health office has information on training.