Taking Care of Yourself: A Guide for Foster Carers

by Jessica Amey

Foster carers step up and provide care to children in need, but it’s also important to make room for self-care. As joyful as foster caring is, there will be times when stress and other emotions take their toll. To make sure you’re being the best carer possible, follow this short guide for taking care of yourself.

Surround Yourself with a Supportive Network
Although you’re the one providing love and care for foster children, you are never alone in your journey. For starters, you’ll have a reputable agency like the Foster Care Associates Manchester that will be on hand to answer any questions and provide support. Additionally, you can rely on your friends, relatives, and fellow foster carers.

As well as providing practical help, emotional support, and advice, your support network can keep you grounded when you have difficult issues to navigate.

Make Time for Working Out
Exercise is a brilliant way of improving your emotional and physical well-being. When you get the blood flowing, endorphins will flood the body, which can elevate your mood. Additionally, a well- timed workout can improve sleep, lower stress levels, and provide an energy boost.

To help exercise feel like less of a chore, we recommend picking an activity you’ll enjoy and that aligns with your busy schedule. If you’ve only got a short window after dropping your foster children at school, use this time to visit a local swimming pool, go on a bike ride, or take a stroll in the park.

Write a List of Daily Tasks
Foster care comes with a lot of responsibilities and tasks to manage. Instead of allowing them to become overwhelming, it’s a good idea to break tasks down into a simple to-do list. To help you write an effective list, we’ve put together the following tips:

● Write down every task: Keeping tasks locked in your mind welcomes chaos, so clear it out every night by writing down each task for the following day.
● Break large tasks into smaller ones: Smaller tasks look less scary than those daunting large ones.
● Be realistic with deadlines: Allow enough time to complete each task; there’s no point setting yourself up to fail.
● Prioritise tasks: Some tasks are more important than others, so get these done first.
● Revisit your list regularly: Revisit your list daily to refresh your memory and make any

Leave Time for Enjoyable Hobbies
Hobbies give you a chance to have fun, de-stress, and relax, so make sure you always allocate time for them. Additionally, hobbies are the perfect platform for learning new skills and socialising, which are both fantastic for improving mental well-being. To ensure you have time, consider writing hobbies into your to-do list and find a friend to keep you accountable.

Foster carers must take care of themselves because it allows them to provide a higher quality of care for foster children. Looking after your own needs isn’t selfish; it’s beneficial for your entire household. Remember, you will never be alone as a foster carer, as long as you lean on your support network.

Related Articles