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Getting enough rest and sleep can feel challenging if you are busy in your caring role. But there are things you can do to try and make the most of any time you have to rest and recharge. Watch this video for more:

 

Watch the Rest video with BSL below:

 

Does rest matter?

You might wonder whether getting productive rest is important. The Rest Test, the largest ever survey about rest says – yes! People who said they felt fully rested had wellbeing scores twice as high as those who said they needed more rest.

This might sound discouraging if you are living a challenging and busy life as a carer and don’t feel you have time to rest, but there is good news.

Research has shown that even short ‘microbreaks’ of a few seconds to a few minutes can improve your ability to concentrate and reduce stress. Typical activities might include making a cup of tea, stretching or watching a funny video clip.

What seems to matter is taking some time to actively, or productively, rest at regular intervals throughout the day. Even if you have a very busy lifestyle, planning time to take a few minutes each day to rest could really help to improve your wellbeing.

Nature and Rest

One of the most resting activities you can do is spend time in nature.

If you have trouble getting outside or accessing nature – there is also good news. As Claudia Hammond explained in a lecture on rest “even a 40-second micro-break looking at a picture of nature seems to make a difference.”   nature 2058243 1920

Researchers put participants through a menial task for five minutes and then showed them a picture for 40 seconds. Some subjects were shown a plain concrete rooftop and some the same space but with a garden meadow on it. The people who looked at the meadow had better performance and concentration when they returned to the menial task. 

So, even if you can’t take a walk outside, if you love nature, looking at pictures of the natural world can help you to get productive rest throughout the day.

Taking a break

Sometimes resting for a more extended period of time can be useful – particularly taking active breaks from your caring role when you are able to.

Carers UK has produced a series of short films that discuss breaks – from short daily breaks, through to longer breaks and respite care, and how to start to access services. Follow this link to find out more or download our Taking a Break factsheet.


Sleep

Getting enough sleep is an important part of maintaining your health and wellbeing. If you have caring responsibilities, it is not always easy to get enough sleep. Occasionally, having a disturbed night will affect you the following day, but if you are having trouble sleeping for longer than a night or two, then everything will seem harder. Carers UK has put together a great list of things you can do to help you get better sleep.


 

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