Healthy Living Strategies

We know that people feel best when they lead balanced lives. Of course that applies to carers, as well. At a time when you're under a lot of stress, it's hard to find time to focus on your own well-being. But the stronger and healthier you are, the better able you are to fulfil your supporting role. So be sure to do the things you need – and like – to do.

These tips can go a long way to helping you lead a healthier life:

Keep up your social contacts

Staying in touch with friends and family can make you feel connected and supported. So take time out to meet a friend for coffee, or spend 10 minutes catching up by phone.

Exercise

Even if you only have a few minutes, do something active. A walk around the block, jogging in place, or even going shopping can all get your blood flowing and you feeling better.

Eat well

When you're busy, it's tempting to grab something that's fast and easy. But the benefits of eating right are well documented. Grab an apple instead of a chocolate bar, and you'll avoid that sugar rush and load up on nutrients.

Try something new

It may not seem like the ideal time to sign up for a ceramics class, but try challenging yourself to learn a new skill while you're a carer. Get a fitness video, take a self-paced foreign language course or do something you've been putting off for a while.

Be positive

As difficult as it may sound, being positive pays off. That's because your attitude can have a dramatic effect on the way you feel.

Look for humour

While Alzheimer's disease is serious, try to channel your inner optimist by looking on the bright side. Maintaining a good sense of humour can be a very effective coping strategy.

Ask for help

No one said you had to go it alone. In fact, this is generally a bad idea: caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease isn't easy, and you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Turn to your doctor for professional advice, speak with your local Alzheimer's Australia, get in touch with carer support groups in your area, talk to your good friends and enlist other family members to help with the caring task.