Foster carers do exceptional work for the lives of young people all over the country. Yet, just like any role, it is completely normal to feel tired and need a break. That is why focusing a portion of your time on self-care is of the utmost importance. It is impossible to escape, and you should make it a priority at least a few times a week. Here are some ideas about how to look after yourself while caring for foster children.
Eat Right and Exercise
The two biggest things that will not only help you promote wellness within but will also encourage positive habits for your foster children too, are to eat right and exercise. This can be done through collaborative meal planning and also by ensuring there is space every week for getting outside and exploring nature. If you can, create special moments for solo workouts because adult headspace is just as important as foster family time.
There is some useful information from fosteringpeople.co.uk about typical allowances for foster carers, and this will all be explained thoroughly in your training. It is this allowance that will guide how you budget on a monthly basis, and everyone knows that a big part of looking after yourself is managing money successfully. You will be less stressed, more engaged, and feel happier overall if you have a firm grasp on your financial situation so this is a key area to focus on.
Set Up a Sleep Schedule
If there is one area that will drastically improve your mental well-being it is the nighttime routine in your house. This includes both the children and yourself, and should always be at the top of the list of things to do well. Setting up a positive sleep schedule will help everyone handle the daytime with a fresh head and feel better about handling what’s to come. Make a list of the top difficulties you are all facing and sit down with your wider care team to problem solve. The easiest place to start is by figuring a way through the evening routine first and ensuring that the few hours leading up to wind down time are peaceful, engaging, and positive.
Schedule In Downtime
All foster carers with established settings are entitled to a set amount of respite care. This means you get a certain number of weekends or nights ‘off’ and you can use these in a way that really suits your downtime. Whether it is going out with friends of catching up with your partner, or just going off alone and channelling your inner peace, there are so many options to play with. Carers should always embrace this time off because it is an important part of resetting so that you can show up as the best version of yourself for the children you look after.
Self-care has never been more relevant. Take the time to support wellness within your home and within yourself so that you can feel healthy, strong, and resilient as you move through the process of foster caring.