10 Tips for Stronger Mental Health – Part 1

By Roz Jones

To stay fit and healthy as a Caregiver, it’s important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health. There are little things you can do each day that can contribute to your mental wellness.

Add these items to your daily routines and feel the difference:

  1. Get enough sleep. A lot happens in your brain while you sleep – for both your physical and mental health. Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in your brain that manage moods and emotions. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may start to experience feelings of depression or anxiety.
    • Most adults thrive with 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Experiment and see how many hours work best for you.
  1. Eat nutritiously. Good food is good for our bodies, plus it’s good for our mental health too! A deficiency in certain minerals, such as iron or vitamin B12, can negatively affect your mood during the day.
    • Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fats like avocados. Avoid processed foods with unnatural chemicals. A healthy diet helps both your body and mind feel good.
    • Limit caffeine, as this can increase feelings of anxiety.
  1. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs. These items can affect your mental health also.
    • Drinking too much alcohol can leave you with a thiamine deficiency, which can cause challenges with your memory, coordination, and confusion.
    • Withdrawal symptoms of smoking and drugs can lead to a host of issues. For example, you may feel irritable or anxious without having smoked, while withdrawal effects of drug use may include low moods and anxiety.
  1. Get some sunlight. Your body needs sunlight because it is a good source of vitamin D. This vitamin helps our brains release chemicals like endorphins and serotonin. Chemicals that help improve our mood.
  1. Try to reduce stress. Stress can sometimes be unavoidable but learning what triggers it and how to cope with it is key for your mental health.
    • You can learn to better manage your worries by making a list or schedule of what needs to be done. Prioritize the most important items and do those first. When you get used to doing this each day, you’ll soon realize that your tasks are manageable, and you’ll feel less need to worry.
    • Once your important tasks are taken care of, find relaxation methods that work for you and let the stress of the day melt away.

Your mental health is important and, if not looked after, it can start to affect your physical health as well. Do the little things regularly that can help you to build stronger mental health. You’ll love the difference in the way you feel.

3 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health While Working In The Home As A Caregiver

By Roz Jones

As we spring into May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re covering ways you can declutter and better your mental health as a Caregiver. We’re also providing you with methods on how to use your circle of technology to your Client or Loved One’s advantage.

If you’re feeling isolated working as a Caregiver, feeling mental fatigue, lack of support, or are overwhelmed from day to day, you may find yourself struggling with your mental health. 

This is understandable, as just seeing others can brighten your day. Very few want to be stuck in the home all day, let alone have to work in the home every day. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Consider these ways to look after your mental health while working in the home as a caregiver.

1. Try to Get into a Routine

Yes, it can be a challenge and isolating working as a Caregiver in the home. Often, you may find your attention wandering, or you may find yourself missing Loved One’s and/or work colleagues.

A routine can help you focus on your tasks.

Use these strategies:

  • Have a space for work that is free of any distractions.
  • Set a routine to get up and get started, take regular breaks including lunch, and finish work at a reasonable time.
  • Avoid working in your pajamas.
  • Set clear tasks for the day and prioritize them. Do the most important tasks first.
  • When you finish working, clean up as you would in an office.
  • If you’re homeschooling your children, it may be a good idea to let your employer know. You’ll want to set up a routine of when you can work and when you can give your children the attention they need too.

2. Keeping In Touch With Loved Ones and/or Colleagues

To avoid feeling isolated while working as a Caregiver, keep in touch with your Loved Ones and/or colleagues, both in a formal fashion and a more social one.

Try these techniques:

  • Discuss with your Loved Ones and/or colleagues when it is best to contact you and try to remain available during these times.
  • Use video calling software for formal discussions.
  • Follow up any video calls with a quick note to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding actions that need to be taken moving forward if needed.
  • You can also use video calling for more informal chats or use other messenger services if it is more appropriate.
  • Check-in with your work colleagues at the end of the workday to receive updates. These updates might be work-related, or you might use this time for personal updates.

Try to keep your work and social life separate. When working from home, it is easy for your work and social life to merge.

Not all of your colleagues will appreciate you sharing everything with them, so respect their boundaries, just as you expect them to respect yours.

3. Use Any Support Available

Working as a Caregiver in the home can be challenging, so if there is support available, make the most of it:

  • Many employers will have support available for their employees, with dedicated apps and websites offering support.
  • If you are currently struggling with a physical or mental health condition, your employer may be able to make reasonable adjustments to your work schedule, offer additional support from managers or other colleagues, and provide equipment if needed.
  • Look at the self-care techniques you’ve used in the past that have worked for you. You will have to be flexible sometimes, especially if you are stuck in the home. For example, if you usually walk around to meditate, to relieve your stress, you could try finding a quiet space and begin deep breathing to clear your mind. 
  • Work with Roz Jones, an experienced Caregiver, who can provide fellow caregivers with support and further assist with planning.

Working as a Caregiver is not for everyone. Some people will thrive in this environment while others will struggle. Keep these tips in mind, especially if you’re struggling. They can help you remain a productive caregiver.