Staying Healthy

One of the most important things is to make sure that you are looking after yourself properly. This means making sure you are eating properly, keeping clean, taking exercise and listening to your body and having time to yourself to relax.

When you are looking after someone it is very easy to forget to look after yourself. It is very important that you have time to do this, for example going to the doctor, dentist or keeping a hospital appointment.

Some people find ways to make themselves feel better that are not good for them, like drinking, taking drugs or hurting themselves. If this sounds like you, don't be ashamed or feel bad about it. Do talk about it with an adult you trust.

For more information on dealing with stress, your feelings or staying healthy visit the NHC choices website here.

Information from MS society

  • Feeling Stressed?

    When you feel stressed it is your body's way of ringing a warning bell - it is telling you that you need a break. There are lots of ways to help deal with stress:

    • Talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust
    • Go out with friends
    • Exercise
    • Put aside time each day to do something you love - like watching your favourite TV show or listening to your favourite music
    • Write your feelings down - in a letter, diary, poem or song

    Sometimes when people reach a very high level of stress they may need to find ways of letting out their feelings. Sometimes people hurt themselves on purpose - this is known as self harm. Sometimes people will also think of killing themselves. If you have feelings like this you must speak to someone like your teacher, school counsellor or GP. This shows that you may be depressed and this is a real medical condition which they can help with. Don't let it get to this point before asking for help.

  • Tired

    Tiredness is a sign that you are doing too much. If you are having trouble sleeping it may be down to stress or worry. Here are some practical tips if you find it hard to get to sleep:

    • Keep a notebook next to your bed and write down everything that is worrying you before you go to sleep - this should help clear your head ready for sleep
    • Stick to regular bedtimes - your body will adjust to know the time it is supposed to sleep
    • Take a warm bath an hour before bed - it will relax you and the warmth will help you get sleepy
    • Have a hot, milky drink before bed

    If you are sleeping well but still feel tired then you may be doing too much in a day and it really is time to take a break. Take a look the Your rights page to see how you can take a break.

  • Have fun!

    One of the best things in life is to have fun! Just because you are a young carer, it doesn't mean you are not entitled to have a good time with your friends and family. Make sure you take time out to have a laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine!

  • Talk to someone

    Talking is one of the most powerful ways to make yourself feel better. Sharing your problems and anxieties is a way of 'offloading'. It doesn't have to be talking to an adult either it could be a friend too!

  • Eat healthy!

    To stay fit and healthy you need to eat a balanced diet. This means lots of fruit and vegetables and healthy proteins like lean meat and fish and carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and rice.

    You should eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. All this food gives us a good type of energy. Unhealthy foods, like crisps and chocolate, are packed full of fat and sugar so they will satisfy you for only a short period of time - after that you'll get hungry again.

    Slow releasing foods like pasta will keep you fuller for longer.  If you help out with the cooking and shopping at home, you may need some tips on healthy cooking you can contact a Get Active Northumberland on 01670 784186 or drop them an email on gan@nhct.nhs.uk 

  • Self harming

    Sometimes people find they can't manage their emotions. Everything gets on top of them, and this might lead them to self-harm as a way of coping.

    Self-harm is when someone deliberately hurts themselves by a variety of
    different methods. It's often done in secret and they might be very scared of
    other people finding out.

    Some people do it from time to time when things get on top of them and then
    stop. Others rely on it as a regular way of managing their feelings. Eating
    problems like anorexia or bulimia are forms of self-harming too.

    Some people do it to distract themselves from their feelings or because they
    feel they deserve to be hurt. Others see it as a way of feeling in control when
    life feels out of control, or as a way of showing other people that they're
    hurting inside.

    Whatever the reason for self-harm, it's a dangerous way of dealing with
    difficult feelings. There are other, safer, less harmful ways. Here are some
    better ways:

    • Talk to someone about it. To start with, it might be easier to talk to someone confidentially such as through a helpline like Childline (0800 1111) or www.there4me.com. They can help you build  up to talking to someone closer to home, like a good friend, parent, school nurse or teacher.
    • Get advice from a doctor or nurse. If you can't stop yet, they can give you advice on making sure you don't hurt yourself too badly and stopping infections. When you're ready they can help you find a counsellor who will explore other ways with you of coping with feelings.
    • Think about ways to make your life less stressful. You might need to talk to your parents about doing less caring or having more time to yourself.
    • Think about whether there's a particular situation or time that makes you want to self-harm. If you can see a pattern you can work out other ways of dealing with that situation.

    • Do something creative which allows you to express your emotions. Writing a poem, keeping a diary, writing letters to someone you feel angry with (but don't send them) or drawing pictures are all good ways of releasing feelings.
    • Write a list of the positive things or people in your life and focus on what they mean to you.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Info from: www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/young/