Looking After Carers
11 June 2019 | Katy Ratican
beanddo is delighted to support Carers Week 2019 by taking part in the very first Carers Fest in Manchester. We are involved thanks to our groundbreaking partnership with The Gaddum Centre, Manchester’s leading provider of health and wellbeing services, supporting their Manchester Network for Carers.
Carers Week 2019 is designed to bring awareness and support to the UK’s carers. Did you know that this year the number of unpaid carers in the UK has risen by a third to nine million?
Carers are often central to holding families together, helping their loved ones get the most out of life and make an enormous contribution to the wider wellbeing of our communities. They provide love and care to others in an increasingly hostile and complicated world.
So it’s no surprise that alongside the rewards of being a carer, many find life very hard. They will often suffer from poor mental and physical health themselves. Over 60 percent of carers say they suffer from very poor mental health.
While providing invaluable support to their family and friends, the pressure on carers is immense, as the impact of their caring responsibilities will have a significant effect on their wellbeing. Issues such as stress, fatigue, financial struggles, reduced social contact and hours worked will all combine to reduce mental health quality.
The Mental Health Foundation report that the Carers UK Annual Survey 2015 revealed that 84 percent of carers feel more stressed. 78 percent feel more anxious and 55 percent reported that they suffered from depression as a result of their caring role. And these worrying figures are on the rise. There are over 42,000 carers in Manchester. While modern meditation will not remove the carers circumstances, regular modern meditation practice will alleviate the impact and act as an effective coping mechanism, by helping to reduce anxiety and stress while also nurturing an inner core of resilience, empowerment and purpose.
How can beanddo help carers?
For the carer groups we work with, we have designed some simple, adaptable and accessible meditation sessions. The key has been to work from the needs and outlooks of the carers and going with what works for them. As we often say at beanddo there is no dogma, no right or wrong way and you don’t have to believe anything. Just practice. The rest will follow. No special equipment is required. All you need is a body that breathes, a mind that thinks, an undisturbed room and a chair to sit on – we will do the rest.
In recent months, beanddo founder Mick Timpson and assistant meditation teacher and occupational therapist Emily Edwins have travelled across Manchester to work with a variety of different care groups. The key has been to help carers find some time and focus for themselves. To help them nurture a moment or two where their attention is inward on them and their own self, rather than on those they care for.
The intention has been to help them build and sustain moments of deeply relaxing and energising stillness just for themselves. This provides much-needed self-help as well as helping to develop personal tools to stop, relax and build moments of self-awareness during their busy and demanding days.
Of course this shift, when used regularly as new life skill, is invaluable to the people they care for too. Everybody benefits from Modern Meditation.
Working with this group of wonderful people has been a deeply rewarding experience for us at beanddo. We have learned a great deal about how we can communicate this ancient art and science of wellbeing into a language and methodology that is instantly applicable, useful and relevant. So we are thrilled to be participating in Carers Fest this weekend and excited to meet more wonderful groups and individuals working towards making the lives of carers and the cared for more joyful!
We are also curious to find out how our students have found their new journey of Modern Meditation, learn of the challenges they have faced and share in their insights.
The Gaddum Centre hosts Carers Fest on Saturday 15th June 2019 at People’s History Museum, 10.30am – 4pm.
beanddo founder Mick Timpson discusses the difference between looking and seeing – and how, with modern meditation, you can learn to live in the present.