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Finding time for yourself as a young carer

As a young carer during the current times, you may find yourself distracted by change or impacted by significant events, like suddenly having to work or study from home.

If you have had to adapt to these new changes alongside your usual caring responsibilities, you’d be forgiven if you’ve forgotten to ask the all-important question “how am I going?”. We’d like to take this moment as you read this to remind you to take some time for your mental health. Sing in the shower, try that new recipe, paint that vision in your head and engage in activities that make you, you!

We’ve written down a few to get you started.

 

Communication is key

Technology has got your back during times of physical distancing, with access to so many great programs to keep socially active with peers and enjoy a good laugh, take five and phone a friend. Some programs that individuals can use to call, video chat or screen share for free are Skype, Zoom or Discord. Great for group calls and if you are playing online games with each other.

You can also play other games like Charades or Heads Up while video chatting if you’re feeling creative!

 

Peer to peer support

Carers WA and United Kingdom’s Scarborough & Ryedale Young Carers and Young Carers Bristol & South Gloucestershire, have a partnered up to create the Pen Pal Program, an old-school pen-pal match-up system for young carers in WA to get to know someone in the UK . Form long-lasting friendships with other young carers, learn new skills and have fun!

Contact youngcarers@carerswa.asn.au to join this free program and form a worldly friendship.

 

Yoga and meditation activities

Whether you have been doing it for years or are a beginner just starting, yoga and meditation prove to be a great way to stay active, promote proper breathing techniques and encourage relaxation.

We encourage everyone to take a bit of time out of their day to do these activities and influence positive outcomes from decreasing stress to increasing concentration. Here are some quick yoga routines and stretches you can do to take a breather throughout the day:

Don’t forget to stay hydrated with water! If you want to change it up, add a slice of lemon, fruit or cucumbers.

 

Music is good for the soul – listen to it and have fun!

Carers WA have created a playlist for young people, twelve and over, to jump start your solo dance party. Bonus points if you can sing the lyrics too! Listen here.

Not sure it’s your style? Create your own curated playlist to boost your mood.

 

Keep your brain active with creativity and innovation

Unleash your inner artist! If you’re someone who loves designing or creating digital aesthetics, use Canva to design free unique templates, schedules or social images for awesome online designs.

If you’re wanting to try new creative activities while engaging both your mind and hands in a calm environment, try these Australian animal origami tutorials and display them or send them to a loved one. Handcrafted pieces show patience, love and care, and serve as a great greeting card gift!

 

You can download the free app, Duolingo, on your smartphone or online if you would like to challenge yourself and learn another language. You can set weekly goals and see how much you have improved.

Alternatively, you can practice learning the AUSLAN alphabet here and create challenges to learn words or sentences in the future.

Riddles and jokes are also a great brain engaging activity that you can do alone or with your family and friends through technology. Click here for some riddles for beginners or jokes to make yourself smile.

 

If you liked these activities or have a suggestion for anything else, share it on our Facebook page so the caring community can grow, thrive and support one another. Stay active, stay social and remember to always make time for you!

If you are in need of support during this time, Carers WA encourages you to contact our counselling line on 1800 007 332 (Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 4.30pm). We are here to listen and provide support for all carers in WA.

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