- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Information for working carers
- Looking after yourself
Looking after yourself
It can be difficult to find the time to look after your own health and wellbeing when you are trying to balance the demands of your job with your caring responsibilities. Maintaining your fitness and eating healthy foods will help you cope with the demands of both roles.
My employer has an assistance program with six free counselling sessions. I’d recommend that to anyone – just having someone to lean on and talk to is helpful.
Tips for working carers
- Talk to your employer about flexible working arrangements, job-sharing or reducing your work hours.
- If you feel guilty about working, focus on the rewarding and satisfying aspects of both your caring role and your job.
- Share your feelings with family, friends, workmates or a counsellor.
- You may be able to talk to a counsellor through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), either through your workplace or the workplace of the person you are caring for.
- Accept help from your workmates when it is offered.
- Try to take some time out for yourself each day.
- Plan respite care in advance so you can have a break.
- Look after your health and wellbeing by eating well, seeing your doctor when you need to and trying to get enough sleep.
- Try some complementary therapies, such as massage, relaxation or meditation. Call 13 11 20 for more information and audio recordings.
- Shop online to save time and energy.
- Stay involved in activities you enjoy. It’s a good stress relief and will give you something else to think and talk about aside from caring.
- For more tips on combining your work and care roles, visit the Carer Gateway and search for “Working while caring”.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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