As a care worker, it’s important to remember that when you are taking care of others, you also need to ensure that you care for yourself along the way. You can only do your job to the best of your ability when you are healthy and fit.

Being a care assistant can be a stressful job at times and is a role that is often recognised as selfless. It requires a great deal of physical and emotional energy.  It is normal, as a care worker, to experience times that may cause you stress or worry. You should try to incorporate de-stressing activities in your daily life to help manage stress for your physical and emotional well-being.

Here are our top 6 habits to help keep you healthy as a care assistant;

1.    Learn to Organise

Knowing your rota and organising your day is one of the most effective ways to de-stress yourself no matter whether you’re a domiciliary care provider or a carer based elsewhere. Manage the records of the client by keeping them filed and in one place so you don’t have to worry about this aspect and it is easy for you and your colleagues. You should ensure that all important information like phone numbers and medicines are within quick reach, so that they are easily accessible to you in emergency situations that may cause you to panic.

Another way of staying organised is making a list of things you have control over. Writing will help you prioritise your daily activities and get rid of any irrelevant preoccupation.

2.    Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is extremely important for any care assistant. Lack of sleep can take a toll on both your mind and body, it is also proven to contribute to a higher risk for depression and other cardiovascular diseases. It is recommended to get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night. By sleeping well each night, you’ll be able to provide better patient care for your client and be more alert during working hours. 

Here are a few tips to make sure you get a considerable amount of sleep every day;

  1. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, to allow your body to get used to the routine.
  2. Avoid having caffeinated drinks in the evenings; especially 2 hours before you got to bed. Caffeine and alcohol tend to destroy the quality of a good night’s rest by disturbing your sleeping pattern.
  3. Avoid all screens before bed, which includes watching television and checking mobile phones. Social media can be very addictive, leaving you scrolling on your phone for hours, when you’re trying to put your mind to rest.

3.    Eating Healthy

It is important to maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to ensure your energy levels are sustained throughout your day. Fast food might be a convenient option, but it fails to provide nutrition your body requires to function properly.

If you enjoy preparing meals but don’t get time to do this throughout your day, you may want to consider making large batches in advance on your day off. You can freeze extra any extra for your convenience. There are plenty of recipes available online, that can help you make pre-planned, big portioned meals with a reasonably priced grocery list.

Caffeine tends to cause dehydration, so it is best to avoid too many sugary caffeinated drinks. Try to increase your water intake while limiting your caffeine levels along the way. Instead of brewing yourself tea or coffee every afternoon, you can choose a fruit with high water content, like an apple or melon to soothe your caffeine withdrawal.

4.    Monitor Physical Health

As a care worker, you must learn to stay physically and mentally active. Increasing your daily activity level is proven to have effective results for both your physical and mental fitness. Try to take even 20 minutes every day and spend time doing activities you love, such as a jog through your favourite park, going for a relaxing swim or walking your pet. Stretching is a form of exercise that is easy and convenient, you can stretch your body from head to toe as soon as you get up in the morning to release tension from the muscles and allow your mind to focus mind to focus.

Exercise can also be a social activity – you can combine your exercise sessions to spend time with friends. Ask your friends to go for a walk with you, meet you at the pool or even do yoga in the comfort of your own home.

5.    Monitor Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical fitness, especially as a care worker; you want to be in good mental health to care for your clients. If you have negative emotions, a way you can tackle this is through meditation. Meditation finds a calming neutral in your life at times when you may feel like your life is hectic, by simply giving you a way to either manage it or free yourself from it entirely. It can also reward you with a sense of clarity and the ability to perceive things from beyond the negative emotions you feel.

A great exercise for your mind, body and soul is yoga. Yoga will not only strengthen the body but will can also restore your mental health providing a sense of calming. Yoga is a form of physical activity that is gentle, soothing for the nerves and listens to your body’s requirements.

6.    Accept Help from Others

It is perfectly okay, in fact, it is important to ask for assistance from others whenever you need it. Caring for someone else can be a mentally and physically draining activity. You are only human and need a break from time to time. If you think you need any kind of emotional and moral support, don’t hesitate to talk to your colleagues or area manager.

No matter what, be aware of your pushing yourself to the limit. Taking on more than what your mind and body can handle can have a negative impact on both your private and professional life.

It is important to realise that even as a care worker that you might need help and support sometimes too.