One of our members started a thread on our forum on positive ways to cope with low moods. The post got a huge response and collectively everyone contributed to a list of coping techniques. If you are ever feeling a bit low or need some help coping, this is a great place to start.
So here are the top twenty tips suggested for carers, by carers…
1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone has bad days.
2. If possible, get out of the house for a while. Go for an outing.
3. Speak to people who make you feel positive. This could be family, friends or our forum members.
4. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for.
5. Take one thing at a time and just breathe.
6. Get enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation is a well known cause of depression and being tired does nothing for your mood.
7. A pamper session in the bath can help: bubbles, oils, music and a good book.
8. Singing along loudly to a CD in the car.
9. Remember that you are not only a carer; there is more to you than that.
10. Don’t forget to keep busy. It tends to be harder to fight the urges to cope in negative ways when you are alone and doing nothing.
11. Rather than fighting and trying to make it a good day, it helps to write it off as a bad day and look to tomorrow to have a better day.
12. Organise your problems, if its tomorrow’s problem then worry about it tomorrow.
13. Some say a change is as good as a break. Bringing some flowers into the house or even wearing a nice jumper or hat can put us in a different mindset.
14. Compile a ‘Happy Box’. Treat yourself with a collection of items that you love and put them all in a box. When you need it, open it up and take something/everything out.
15. If possible, some form of exercise really helps to lift your mood. Walking, swimming, yoga or gardening, whatever works for you.
16. Certain foods like chocolate and curry have ingredients in them that can help with low moods.
17. If your list of ‘to-do’s’ is overwhelming, get a timer and give yourself a set time in which to do whatever you feel. 15 mins to read or 30 mins to do nothing. Make it your time.
18. Engross yourself in creative time. Get the paints out, write a story or poem, play an instrument or anything that takes your mind off of things.
19. Try to have a rough plan. Not more than you can handle, but enough to give you a basic routine to the day.
20. Remember, you are not alone.