Your Wellbeing Matters Too
It is important to acknowledge that caring for someone living with suicidality is a distressing and isolating experience, and the fear of losing a loved one can be all consuming and even disabling at times.
The best way to keep going is to factor in your own wellbeing so you can stay well enough to be a positive and helpful person in your loved one’s life.
Through the hard times it can be difficult to consider your own needs, self-care is likely to be at the bottom of your list, especially when your priority is the person you're caring for. As a Carer, it's important to ensure your own physical, social and emotional needs are met so you can cope better in times of extreme stress, as well as over the longer term.
Taking care of your own physical, mental and emotional health is vital. The more you look after yourself the better you can perform your caring role and handle the challenges it brings. There’s a lot you can do to improve your wellbeing, but it starts by recognising your own limitations in life and keeping balance as much as you can. Caring for someone can be emotionally and physically exhausting, please know that good self-care is going to make a real difference to your quality of life.
And remember you are not alone, there are many other people who understand because they too have cared for a loved one in their darkest hour. So please take time for yourself and be kind to you. By looking after your own health, you will be able to cope better with any challenges that life brings.
No matter what your situation is, self-care is not selfish.
Helpful tips for self-care
Change what you can
You may not be able to significantly change the demands of your caring role, but you can look creatively at small changes which might help.
Accept what you can’t change
Focus on what you can do to make a difference and identify and accept the things you can’t change. Sometimes stress can be reduced by changing how you react to it.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
You may be good at mediating arguments or at switching off worries and thinking about something else. If you know your strengths and weaknesses it will be easier to work out what support you need, and what you can manage quite well on your own.
Learn skills to help you manage
Learn as much as you can about the condition of the person you are caring for and about techniques that can help you to manage your caring role better.
- Look at the funny side of things when you can
- Believe in your ability to cope through the difficult times
- Focus on good outcomes and experiences
- Accept unpleasantness, learn from it and try to move forward
Practical strategies for reducing stress
- Keep healthy - Eat well and exercise regularly
- Try to get a good night’s sleep – Limit sweets before bed, don’t drink coffee or tea in the evening and explore ways to wind down before bed, e.g. Meditation, listening to music or reading can help if you have difficulty falling asleep. If you wake up with anxiety in the night, try switching your thoughts away from your worries
- Find out what relaxes you and take regular time out to recharge. Try to do something that you enjoy every day and spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
- Talk with family and friends you trust about how you feel, it can also help to talk with a professional counsellor
- Ask for and accept help!
Crossing Paths Carer Programs
Let nature nurture you
For Carer of a loved ones who are suicidal.
Join us and connect in nature with a small group of people who have shared experiences.
Nature is well known for its beauty and healing ability. By taking time out to ‘smell the roses’ you are helping yourself to heal. Spending time in nature is a natural form of self-care, and the best way to build resilience and cope better with whatever life challenges come along.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Trying to give from an empty cup will only leave you feeling even more depleted and overwhelmed. When you take care of yourself your energy and mindset improve. Good self-care will help you to support those you love in a more positive way and feel better about your own life.
This is a free service for carers who are linked in with our program. Day and time will be determined by interest. Please let us know if you would like to link in with Crossing Paths and connect to others in nature for your wellbeing.
If you are interested in participating in our monthly connection group ‘Let Nature Nurture you’, contact Cindy on 0417 313 111 or email email@example.com
Art Therapy for Wellbeing
Crossing Paths Carer Support Wesley Mission has connected with Art is Therapy run by Katy Pryde. We are offering carers who are linked with us the opportunity to try art therapy for their personal wellbeing.
What is art therapy?
People have been relying on the arts to communicate, express themselves, and heal for thousands of years. The goal of art therapy is to help people explore self-expression, gain personal insight and develop new coping skills. Art therapy is known to improve mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
You might be wondering how an art therapy session differs from the average art class... An art class is focused on teaching technique or creating a specific finished product. Art therapy is about creating art that expresses your inner world, more than making something that reflects your outer world.
Katy offers a safe space to explore and find meaning through art. Her approach is very understanding and supportive, and her passion for art therapy will inspire you. You will be amazed at the benefits. It’s very easy, anyone can do it even those who can only draw stick men. By just being present and allowing yourself some healing time, you will understand the true value of the experience.
The session runs for 1.5 hours – contribution is $5 unemployed, or $10 employed. To find out more about art therapy through Crossing Paths Carer Support, please contact Cindy on 0417 313 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org