Carers! Care for your mental health!

Simple Guide to Mental Health Improvement.

Article by Alexandra Manole.

Working in the care industry is not only physically demanding but could be very stressful. Long periods of stress can have a severe impact on one’s mood, thinking, and acting, thus lead to long -term behavioral changes.
The popular name of this phenomenon is ‘burnout’. An early article (Fimian & Blanton, 1987) describes burnout as emotional exhaustion, low sense of accomplishment and lack of motivation combined with physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach cramps and pain.

According to MARQUE an English national care home longitudinal survey from 2019 (Costello et al., 2019), care home workers in the UK are badly impacted by burnout connected to low work motivation and high staff turnover. Burnout changes both our private and our professional life for the worse and have the potential to become a long-lasting issue. That is why it is not a threat to be neglected, and each one of us has to look after ourselves and try to prevent going into a state of burnout. But how?

Some simple techniques work. But we need to give them a chance. Here is a small list to remind you what you can do to restore your inner balance if you feel emotionally exhausted and vulnerable.

Seven Easy Hacks to Keep Burnout Away

  1. Find a quiet place and talk to yourself. Speak out loud and be nice, kind, and respectful. Show some self-love and care.
  2. If you feel tired and have a long-lastin headache, find a way to rest. Whatever is happening, your body is telling you that you need to stop and take a deep breath.
  3. Sleep for at least 7 hours every night. Sleep is essential for us to function, and no, you can’t compensate. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will suffer altogether with your mental health.
  4. Spoil yourself with little rewards for your hard work. It could be something small but pleasant, like a scented candle or a flower. Add some flavour and a sense of luxury to your day.
  5. Dance for 2 minutes to one of your favourite songs (like no one is watching). You will be surprised how good it feels.
  6. Treat yourself. Look for a recipe, go to the grocery store and start making a delicious homemade meal. When the dish is ready, light a candle and enjoy.
  7. Go for a short walk in the park and play with an animal. It releases a lot of endorphins. Even if you do not have a pet, find a dog and, with the owner’s consent, play with it.

And three things to stay away from:

1.   Avoid drinking too much coffee as it can increase anxiety and makes you more tired and stressed.

2.   Avoid isolation and stay around people you like. Give them big hugs – hugging also makes us feel happy and safe. 

3.   Avoid drinking alcohol alone and when you are feeling down. It will enforce the negative thoughts and make things look hopeless.

In conclusion – care work is not the easiest and probably will never be. But we can learn to cope with the stress and manage it more smartly. Plan your daily relaxation and self-moments ahead and never miss to reward yourself for the job well done.


By Alex Manole, QAQF Wellbeing Officer. She is the link that holds together our big international and multicultural team, providing great care and support to staff members, trainees and our business partners. You can message Alex at alexandra.manole@qaqf.co.uk