Resilience tips for domiciliary carers

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Posted by Pastora

Domiciliary care is a really challenging role, It asks a lot, and takes a lot, to keep on showing up to care for others. We asked our partners at Pastora for some practical advice on how frontline homecare workers can build their resilience, in order to continue delivering compassionate care, without burning out. 

What is resilience?

Simply put, resilience is the ability to cope under pressure and recover from difficulties. It's about adapting to challenging experiences. learning and growing from setbacks and keeping a sense of perspective when things go wrong.

Why do you need resilience as a domiciliary carer?

Resilience is crucial in a caring role so that you can provide compassionate care.

We're not going to get on with everyone and everyone we work with. But we have to find a way to work with them and be compassionate. We also need to be able to handle pressure and unexpected setbacks, because things won't always get easier. 

By being resilient, we can prioritise our wellbeing and engage in activities that bring joy and promote good physical and emotional health. It helps us view challenges as opportunities for learning and development as well.

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Resilience for domiciliary carers, with Pastora

How to build resilience as a domiciliary care worker

There are many small things we can do during the working to help us release emotions, reset and move onto the next challenge with grace. Here are some that you might like to try.

Breathe - stop for a moment and breathe in. Hold it for 3-4 seconds then let go. Repeat 3 or 4 times. It'll help you pause and get some perspective.

Stretch - often we collect a lot of tension in our shoulders and neck. So very gently, and very slowly, circle your head up, to the side, down, to the other side, and back. Or roll your shoulders in a circle, forwards and backwards. Do that slowly 3-4 times and you'll start to feel some of the tension release.

Eat and hydrate - have a water bottle and some snacks to hand, it'll help keep you energised throughout the day,

Walk a little - try parking your car a little bit further away from the person's house you're visiting. You'll feel the benefit of a couple of minutes of fresh air and a chance to move your body.

Use music - listening to music and having a little dance around is a great way to let go of difficult emotions. Maybe you put Taylor Swift on and literally shake it off. Or a sad song to cry to. Or some metal to shout at. Whatever works for you, music is a really powerful way to shift your mindset and change how you're feeling.

Chat to someone who brings you joy - call a loved one or message a colleague for a couple of minutes. When things are difficult it's really beneficial to have someone you can talk to who understands what's going on. It'll lift your spirits.

Journal - grab a notebook and pen and spend a couple of minutes in your car scribbling out whatever's in your head. It doesn't have to be neat or legible. It doesn't even have to make sense. And you can always rip it up and throw it away after. But it'll clear your mind and change how you are in the moment.

Replenish yourself - find out what energises you and brings you joy and do more of it outside of work. It might be going for a swim, reading a book, having a bath. You might just want to zone out and scroll or watch TV, but doing that all the time can have the opposite effect and tire you out more. So try to find an activity that makes you feel happy.

Marilyn Rixhon and Helen Gruber of PastoraPastora is a training and coaching consultancy for wellbeing in social care, that provides care and management teams with guidance and support to look after themselves to be dedicated, embracing challenges, and leading gracefully while caring for others.

For more advice and examples of supporting the wellbeing of a homecare team, download our Carer Wellbeing Report 2024.