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How to stay healthy as a young carer

It’s important that all young people are as healthy as they can be to get the most out of life. However, when you’re caring for someone else, you can feel even more responsibility to be healthy so you’re able to look after the people you love, the best you can.

Our Young Carers Council have come up with the best ways you can look after yourself as young carers. Read on for more information!

Healthy eating

Having a good diet is a great way to make sure you stay well and making sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to do the things you want to do. But what is a good diet?

Keep your balance!

Everything in moderation is key. You can use the Eat Well plate to see what each meal should look like. Click here to see!

Treat yourself!

It’s fine to have a treat every now and then, just be aware of how much fat or sugar is in your treat. Our Young Carers Council members loved making hot chocolate for theirs!

More information

The NHS Better Health website has all you need to know about having a healthy diet, including portion sizes, food swaps and good snacks!

Treat yourself (and your mind!) with a relaxing drink!

Keep those germs away!

For many people, coming into contact with mild germs can actually be a good thing - it helps their immune system stay strong and healthy.

For young carers, staying well is like giving an extra layer of protection to the person they look after. We want to make sure you feel supported and understand how to take care of yourself, which then creates a safe environment for everyone.

Here’s how our Young Carers Council members make sure they keep bugs at bay:

Sharing is caring - but can be gross!

Sharing things like make-up, lip balms etc. can lead you to picking up nasty bugs, so be aware of sharing personal items. Try to clean your items regularly so bugs don’t build up!

Wash your hands

Germs and dirt can be picked up anywhere! Make sure you give your hands a wash before handling food or eating and definitely after you've coughed or sneezed.

Check out this cool science trick that shows how important it is to wash your hands!

Look after your mental health

Did you know that 1 in 3 young carers experience issues with their mental health? Caring can be tough, carrying the weight of other people’s issues and your own worries can be a heavy load to bare.

Let’s hear how our Young Carers Council members try to keep their mental health positive...

Recognise those hard feelings

Knowing that tough or upsetting feelings won’t last forever is really important. Check in with yourself regularly to ask “how am I feeling?”, and work out why you’re feeling that way.

Practice makes permanent!

Doing a quick mental wellbeing activity regularly can get you into a routine of taking some time for yourself and being aware of what’s going on for you. It can feel strange at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will be!

Reflect on feelings and emotions

Sometimes our negative emotions can bubble away under the surface until “bang!” they erupt, and you feel out of control with rage! It’s so important that you give yourself time to reflect on how you’re feeling and why.

If you need more support for your mental health, please speak to our team or visit this website for other services.

Our Young Carers Council created two great activities which are designed to help you calm yourself down. Take a look!

Get moving!

Did you know young people (aged 6 – 16) should get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day?

Here’s some examples of exercise that of Young Carers Council like to do:

Exercise at home

“As a young carer, it’s hard for me to get out of the house and do exercise because my Dad can’t take me anywhere. I like to put exercise videos on YouTube, and follow along in my room. This gives me some time to myself and makes sure I get some movement in.”

Fitting it in when you can

“I can’t go out after school that much because I am looking after mum once I get home. I run around as much as possible with friends or join in with sports games during my breaks at school to make sure I get enough exercise”.

Embrace your caring role!

“Being a young carer for my sister who has ADHD means that I always have someone with LOTS of energy to keep up with. Being a young carer can help keep me healthy because we are always running around together!”

Join one of our activities!

Our Young Carers Council members make sure to book onto wellbeing activities that we are running, so they can connect with others who really get what they’re going through.

Have a look and see what’s on offer for young carers! We’ve done some pretty cool stuff like teen yoga, kayaking, tobogganing and craft sessions, so there's definitely something for everyone!

We’re here to help

Have a question about caring or want to join a wellbeing activity? Talk to someone from our friendly Support Team! Call 0800 038 8885 or email (Mon - Fri, 9am - 1pm).

If you're under 14 years old, please make sure you ask your trusted adult to contact us.

Thank you so much to our Young Carers Council for developing this webpage with us! If you’d like to join our Young Carers Council and help get your voice heard, visit our webpage.

Need to talk? Call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 1pm)