With restrictions beginning to lift in the UK – as a carer, you might be feeling a range of emotions right now, from excited, anxious and all of the in-between.

If you’re looking after someone, this might mean you can start to have a break, or look forward to going to support groups you may have attended in the past. It may also mean getting used to leaving your loved one again if you have to return to work.

Carers in our neighboring county, Wiltshire recently got together to brainstorm their feelings and thoughts about the restrictions easing. From feeling cautious, to concerned, worried, to excited, the ways in which the restrictions easing will affect carers and their loved ones is varied.

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However you might be feeling about the lifting of lockdown restrictions, here are some of our tips that may help you:

1. Take one day at a time

It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of planning for June, when the full restrictions are planned to be lifted, but this also might create some anxiety thinking ahead about what will or won’t happen. The most important thing to remember is to take one day at a time, we don’t know how things might change in the future, so try to focus on what you do know. From 26 March we can now meet with up to 6 people or two households in gardens and public outdoor spaces, and outdoor sport can now take place. This might mean you are able to meet with family members or friends you’ve not seen for a while, or maybe you feel more comfortable to take your cared for outside for a walk.

2. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once

With the restrictions easing, you might feel like you have to get back into everything you were doing before, or meet up with every friend or family member you have, but if you don’t feel up to it – you don’t have to. Outside will still be there for you when you feel ready, but if you are more comfortable continuing what you were doing in lockdown, that is okay too.

Our Virtual Cuppas are still running, along with other virtual events. Find out what’s on over the next few months.

3. Be kind to yourself

We’ve been through a very strange and difficult time, so remember to be kind to yourself as a priority. Just because things are slowly opening up doesn’t mean we go back to feeling like nothing has happened. Remember to take time for yourself, do the things you enjoy, and take care.

Our Here to Talk befriending service is still running – for a regular chat with a trained volunteer, this is a chance to talk about what’s on your mind. If you’d like to sign up, email us at admin@carersupportdorset.co.uk or call us on 0800 368 8349.

However you’re feeling – you are not alone. You can find mental health resources on our website, or read our blog on being kind to yourself.