How do you take care of yourself? - Care Community

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How do you take care of yourself?

Callendersgal profile image

I’m no longer an active carer but then and now, I realise how important it is to take care of yourself too. And it's doubly important for carers to take a time-out, as you are often especially under so many stresses and strains.

I have a little strategy I use to remind myself to take time out for me when life’s stressful and too busy, and I call it my ‘birdhouse in my soul’. And I base it on a very old song from the 80’s called ‘Build a little bird house in your soul’.

Whenever life’s getting on top of me I try to remember that there’s a little bird inside my birdhouse that needs to break free and sing and fly occasionally.

So my bird reminds me to try to take a few minutes’ time-out from stress whenever I can, doing something I enjoy. It doesn’t have to be something that takes long, just little moments that bring me pleasure. Maybe just a quick peek and sniff at the flowers in the garden, having a good laugh at anything remotely funny, listening to favourite music, (and even warbling along from time to time, though that can make others in my life stressed out)! Another favourite is throwing all caution to the wind and enjoying a 'full English' breakfast, or having one too many of my favourite biscuits with my coffee, and, especially stress-busting, is always listening to the dawn chorus whenever I’m awake early enough, or to a church choir or organ. When I’ve had my ‘fix’, my bird can return to its birdhouse, refreshed and more able to cope.

What pleasures, little or big, does anyone else have, to help de-stress and stay balanced?

18 Replies
sassy59 profile image

I love listening to music and reading so try and do both as often as I can.

I also spend time with our daughter perhaps having a coffee out somewhere and we are lucky to have our grandchildren close by which is great.

Pete does ok mostly but I keep an eye on him and help when needed. It’s great when he’s keeping well but we never know what might happen from one day to the next.

I do have to remember to look after me. Take care all. Xxx 😘👍

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to sassy59

Hi sassy59,

You are always so upbeat, you are an inspiration to us all. So glad to have your great input. Thank you.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59Ambassador in reply to Callendersgal

Thank you for your kind words. Xxxxx

Great post, I'm no longer an active care either but know just how hard it can be, we all need time to ourselves but it's so hard when you're a full tme carer, anything that takes your mind off " caring" all the time is good, I love my garden and spend hours just pottering about out there, when the weathers good of course, I also do a lot of crocheting to keep my hands busy.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to

Hi Mydexter,

Thanks for your input. Caring is such a tough row to hoe. (But interesting how we have all identified the garden as the place to be). It's so good to have this forum to share ideas and ask advice of those who have actually walked or are walking the walk!

I love it. Thank you soooo much. I needed something like that day to make me stand back from all that is piling upon me. Thank you xxxx

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to AliBee1

Hi AliBee1

So glad to have been a little bit of assistance. Don't you think that this site is so great to 'pop into', not only to remind us how many people are sharing the same challenges, but for comfort and help too?

Best wishes

Try and distance yourself from the caring regularly. When my hubby was able to be left, I used to go walking with friends. We had lots of laughs and I forgot the pressures of home.

Did not know about respite care until towards the end. Use it as often as you are able. Can arrange daily or weekly 'daycare' or a period away from home while you recuperate, or have a holiday.

Now, when I get too busy, and need a quiet day, I read a book, watch a series on TV on demand, or browse the Internet, looking for holiday packages or other items of interest.

Get out in the garden! Never knew how therapeutic weeding can be! You don't have to decide what to keep and what to throw out, and all looks tidy afterwards. Very satisfying!

All easily said when I am not in the thick of caring for a loved one! Make sure you ask for help, and look after yourself!

Share your burdens with us on this site!

Big hug

Jen xxx

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to honjen43

Hi Jen ,


I think we've all decided that the garden is very therapeutic. And thanks for all your other suggestions and comments!

in reply to honjen43

Yes like you say easily said when our caring duties are over, when you are in the middle of it it's so hard , it takes over your life as everything centres around the person you are caring for and your life as you knew it is put on hold, like you say we must not be too proud to ask for help, when I was caring for my Mum a few years ago there was nothing only my GP , hopefully we are more open now about dementia especially and there is more help out there, I have so much admiration for anyone who is looking after a loved one as I know just how hard and l lonely it can be, but above all we must look after ourselves too, and get out in the garden. Lol 👍😃

I find having a read of a book which is not serious and makes me smile. Terry Pratchett does it for me. That is if not in the garden.

Callendersgal profile image

Hi kernowdame,

Thanks for your input. Maybe I'll try some more Terry Pratchett. I've only read Hogfather for a book club session and I did enjoy it. I also liked Terry Pratchett as a character and admired the way in which he dealt with his own Alzheimer's challenge.

My son left the first one [I think "The colour of Magic"] lying around. It is very rare that I laugh out loud while reading. That got me hooked. He was a lovely man.

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to kernowdame

I'll give it a try!

I get into the thriller authors. Lee Child, Quintin Jardine, Jeffrey Deaver, David Baldacci, Jo Nesbo. Get them online from library so they cost nothing from home.


Jen xxx

Callendersgal profile image
CallendersgalAdministrator in reply to honjen43

Mmm.. nothing like a bit of exciting escapism to take your mind off things honjen43!

A marvellous strategy to have..thank you so much.

I adore wandering around the garden,even in the winter weather,with my 3 little rescue dogs in tow,and oh my,do they make me smile.

I try to surround myself with friends who have a sense of humour ,as life has enough doom and gloom without being reminded.

I find cooking very relaxing,and I like to have friends over for a meal,i supply the food and they supply the vino.

I also love to make changes in our home,new ideas,swopping things around,it all excites my artistic side.

But laughter is what makes life more bearable.

Callendersgal profile image

Hi secrets22, Positivity is such a powerful thing and you definitely have the secret! Attitude can change everything.

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