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Young Carers & Mental Health - self care tips

The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,414 Community Managers
edited January 28 in Health & Wellbeing
Hey Everyone :) 

You may have heard that next Thursday (31/01/18) is Young Carers Awareness Day! 

It's a day all about raising awareness for young people who also have caring responsibilities.   We are keen to get behind this day and show all young carers that we see you.  <3

This year's theme is mental health, which recognises that sometimes young carers don't have the time to focus on their own needs.

If you are a young carer (or young adult carer) Welcome!  
We would really like to hear more about what its like to be a young carer.   If your up for it - tell us about the ups and downs, and what you do to take care of yourself when things get tough. 

If your not a young carer but want to show your support?
Take some time to read about the experiences of young carers here and then try sharing some of your favourite self care tips for mental health and well being.  We think that this community are the perfect people to listen and help out.  

.. and who knows maybe one day a young carer will stumble along this thread and find just what they are looking for.  We would love it if you could all get involved :) 

If you would like to share a social post to show your support on Thursday, Carers Trust (the awesome org behind this day) would love it if you could use #CareForMeToo 

Italia & The Team 
We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.

Comments

  • Millie2787Millie2787 Posts: 2,093 Mega Poster
    edited January 31
    Being a Young Carer for means I’m looking after my nephew who had Social , emontional , mental health issues and more recently I’ve started to provide emontional support for my mum .

    The ups of my day are seeing the change I can make to my nephews life just that bit better. Spending times with him in the morning to make sure he’s settled and calm before heading off to his alternative provision school. The ups of caring for my mum is just seeing her crack a simple smile after somthing I say or do really does light up my world as it’s nothing something I see that often anymore.🌍 

    The downside is that 90% of my care role is emontional support and that really does take its toll. I have to deal with meltdowns from my nephew which can be really upsetting to see to more recently arguments with paramedics who want to take my mum to A&E for a crisis. 

    Also having mental health difficulties myself with my anxiety there will be days where I don’t want to leave the house , where I don’t even want to leave my room and that makes me feel guilty as I’m leaving mum and my nephew to cope by themselves whilst my dad is at work.

    us as a family also struggle with money so when it comes to winter months having the heating in all the time costs money and quite often I end up having to use my babysitting money or wages to stick a tenner into the gas as we simply don’t have it.

    i cope in so many different ways . The main one being just talking to someone wheaten that be a key worker from our young carers services on the end of a phone or arrayinnh to meet them for a drink the next day, I talk to all the friends I have made over the years at the service and I try to do self care , taking time for myself colouring baths cooking whatever I feel like .  - though this can be quite difficult when you are a Young Carer . I think it’s about remembering that your never be a burden to your family if your having off days , they expect that and Attucally it kind of prepares them for when I go off to uni and I’m not going to be there all day every day. We have to remember to tell ourselves that we do somthing amazing that helps to change and shape someone in our families life and yes it may be tough sometimes and there be times where I just wish I wasn’t one but being told your doing somthing amazing is pretty special to me 
    You have a purpose.
    Ariana
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 653 Extreme Poster
    I can echo all of what Millie said. 

    I am terrible for trying to self care. I can tell you million ways to self care but i will never follow my own advice. Some carer struggle to find for them.

    I'm the dark shadow to the carer community here I love to hide and appear when required. This my last YCAD as a young carer and i am happy to say well you carers trust for making mental health as an article which will appear soon around the boards in the newsletter. this theme can be seen from 2 angles what is a mental health carer and how can you as a carer look after there own mental health. 

    Throw question on the thread someone will answer them no matter how big small import or dumb they are. Although no question can be dumb when it comes to carers. <3
    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,414 Community Managers
    edited January 31

    @Shaunie just moving your post over here :) 
    Originally posted by @Shaunie
    I hope this is okay to ask. 
    Sorry massive question. Hope right place cause said "AMA on this thread"
    But know a lot of people support someone with a mental health problem and call themselves a carer - which i get if lots of caring invloved but still confused. Cause while reading this stuff i realise my family could be carers for me. They help me mostly with my eating & i get into crisis which they sometimes deal with - they call themselves a sister or a Dad not a carer or say it is a job. Should they call themselves a carer ? Givimg some level of emotional support imo is part of that role of being sister ect not a job? i am confused - ironically the word makes sound like a burden rather than caring imo. 
    I hope that doesnt offend anyone reading 



    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 653 Extreme Poster
    Hey @Shaunie

    They call them self your sister or your dad because they are still your family. They might not call them self a carer because like you said there family, they might not also realise they are carer, and sometimes just because they don't want to hurt your feeling. Both myself and Aimee are both carer for different family members but we are still sisters, brothers, aunties daughter to the ones we carer for

    A mental health carers role is - to support someone with emotional needs as well as giving them the support they need to continue going in there day to day life, if that is by cooking doing the cleaning or even helping you get out of bed, similar to a physical carer but giving that additional need of mental health support. 

    I won't lie, its one of the hardest to work out if your a mental health carer, often takes someone to identify them. 

    Abi & Aimee. 
    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
    Shaunie
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,761 The Mix Elder
    edited January 31
    That makes complete sense & well explained. Thank you @Abigail & @Aimee  , sorry if was stupid question://
    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
  • ArianaAriana Posts: 193 The Mix convert
    I don't think that's a stupid question at all @Shaunie. My dad openly calls himself a mental health carer for me, but I feel a bit conflicted about it to be honest, because although he does really help me with practical things (for which I am very grateful!) he's not really supportive of me emotionally and always just brushes me off whenever I want to talk about something or minimises my problems. That doesn't mean I'm not really grateful for all the practical support he gives me because I am, I just feel like him calling himself my mental health carer is a bit contradictory when he doesn't want to be involved in the emotional side of things at all.

    That said, I think all you young carers are absolutely amazing individuals and I have so much respect for what you guys handle in your day-to-day lives. I also know all sorts of self-care tips but rarely manage to follow them myself. I guess the one self-care thing that helps me the most is spending time around animals, especially my cat, because cuddles from him always make me feel better and the sound of his purring is so calming and comforting. I feel like animals give you a good time out from human company because they don't judge you in the same way and they don't require any conversation, they're happy to just sit and be with you. So that's what helps me the most.
    Shaunie
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Posts: 2,093 Mega Poster
    edited January 31
    Shaunie said:
    That makes complete sense & well explained. Thank you @Abigail & @Aimee  , sorry if was stupid question://
    Not stupid at all @Shauine , me and @Abigail are here tonight well anytime Attucally to answer any more questions that you and others might have . 

    We like to think that no question is stupid when it comes to Young carers ❤️
    You have a purpose.
    Shaunie
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 5,761 The Mix Elder
    edited January 31
    & for self care i think going outside by yourself and looking at nature is really relaxing if things get overwhelmin that want break from it and fresh air. And away from people to recharge & destress And is quiet. And focus on things you can see in detail and being in the present and not thinking about tasks that you need to do or something that has happened. But just noticing the shapes & colours & detail of things & being mindful - could help as probably being a young carer can be stressful thinking about tasks need doing
    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
    Ariana
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