A regular health and lifestyle column from Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice in Skipton

DURING Carers Week, I co-facilitated a workshop for carers in Craven focusing on self-care strategies.

Paid or unpaid, short or long-term, caring for others can have an impact on global wellbeing. As a carer of my adult daughter, it is a tough gig, juggling the practicalities and managing the emotions attached.

Being cast in the role of carer for a loved one is rarely out of choice, which leads to processing the losses attached to the person and also future plans and aspirations. Reconciling the new norm is difficult in itself, let alone the prospect of redrawing life’s map.

It can become second nature to prioritise the needs of the loved one which can lead to exhaustion, isolation and self neglect. Having “me time” or respite is often a logistical nightmare and can trigger feelings of guilt and self blame. It is not unusual for carers to take time out at the point of emotional and physical burn out.

There is value in grabbing branches on the way down to prevent a catastrophic fall. Planning and factoring time and space is crucial for the carers wellbeing and also to enable them to continue to meet the needs of their loved ones.

There can be resistance to sharing or handing over care to others with the knowledge that it would not be to the standard of the carer who has infinitely more awareness of their loved one’s needs.

The unseen struggles of the carer are often hidden with the emphasis being on the visible person requiring care. It can be easy to judge without knowing the challenges carers face. Carers often seek permission or validation from others about their decision making, however no one judges carers as harshly as they judge themselves.

Carers week is not only a shout out to carers, but also the fantastic services who provide invaluable support to those caring for loved ones.