Tips for carers to prioritise their mental health – How to balance a busy life with self-care

Being a carer can be a rewarding and fulfilling role. However, prioritising your wellbeing can become overwhelming and challenging when faced with a busy lifestyle and limited support. This short article will explore practical self-care strategies specifically tailored for busy family carers who may have limited time and support networks.

  • Embrace small moments of self-care – While it may be difficult to find large chunks of time for self-care, it is essential to incorporate small moments throughout the day. These can be as brief as a few minutes but can make a difference to your wellbeing. Some activities can be as simple as taking a few minutes to practise deep breathing exercises or stretching, listening to your favourite music, or indulging in a few pages of a book before bedtime.
  • Seek online support – Consider connecting with other carers through an online carer forum if you have a limited support network. If you didn’t know, Carer Gateway’s online forum provides a safe, anonymous space to connect with other carers. These online communities can provide a platform to share experiences, exchange advice, and seek emotional support from others who understand your challenges.
  • Respite – Everyone deserves a break. You can seek respite support that can provide temporary relief by taking over your responsibilities for a few hours. For example, through Carer Gateway’s tailored support, you can get a cleaner to come into your house, so it’s one less task on your to-do list, or perhaps you can ask for help with cooking which enables you to take short breaks.
  • Practice self-compassion – Acknowledge that you are doing your best in a demanding role. Practice self-compassion by speaking kindly to yourself and recognising that it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Instead of being hard on yourself for not having an extensive support network or enough time, embrace self-acceptance and focus on the positive impact you are making in the life of the person you care for.
  • Seek help – If you are struggling with the demands of your caring role, it is important to seek support. Carer Gateway offers free counselling services specifically designed for carers, allowing you to speak with professional counsellors about your emotions and concerns about your responsibilities. If counselling doesn’t suit your needs, Carer Gateway also offers a coaching service that allows you to work individually with a carer coach to reflect on your current situation and make positive changes.

 You are not alone in your caring role. Help is available at Carer Gateway, call us on 1800 422 737 (press 1 at the menu) or visit

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