It makes sense, then, that there are over 2.65 million carers across Australia providing unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health concern, or other health or age-related conditions. 235,500 of Australia’s carers are young people.
To say that carers are an integral part of our Australian society, would be an understatement.
While caring for others is often a fulfilling and selfless value and action, our carers also deserve our attention and care. If you know a carer, I wonder how you could reach out, check in, and show that you care? I also encourage any carers reading to check in with themselves and ask ‘how am I going?’, ‘do I need to reach out?’, and ‘how can I show care to myself?’
If you would like some simple ways to care for yourself right now, you might like to try:
- A breathing or grounding exercise: try noticing your breath, your thoughts, and the environment around you for a few moments and then return to your routine.
- Bringing in some self-compassion: try speaking to yourself like you would a friend, what words would you use, or advice would you give?
- Reaching out: contact a friend or family member, or explore if there is a local carer support group near you.
- Getting out of the house: going outside, sharing a drink or meal with someone, or exercising in a way that works for you.
It is possible to thrive, rather than just survive, in your caring journey and as inherently social beings, I would suggest that this comes through connection. Connect with yourself first and ensure that your basic needs are being met. Try to make sure you are eating nutritious food, getting quality sleep, spending time in nature, having time to yourself and quality time with loved ones. Then it’s time to calmly and confidently connect with the person you are caring for and consider whether you might benefit from some professional support in this area.
If you are a carer who needs some care, there are some great organisations available to help.
- Carer Gateway: 1800 422 737 or www.carergateway.gov.au
- Young Carers Network: www.youngcarersnetwork.com.au
- Carers NSW: 02 9280 4744 or www.carersnsw.org.au
- Carers Australia: 02 6122 9900 or www.carersaustralia.com.au
The Rosewood Centre also has a team of down-to-earth and qualified psychologists who can support you and your family along your caring journey. We welcome you to contact us on 1800 613 155 or to visit rosewoodcentre.com.au.