It’s easy to get so caught up in our caring role that it can be hard to find energy to maintain our important relationships. That’s why having regular breaks is crucial.

Plan your break away

Make sure your respite plan includes time alone with your significant other. When you do get time together, put a limit on how much of that time you spend talking about what's going on at home. Choose an activity, place, or event you both enjoy and can look forward to.

Spend time with positive people

Make time for people whose company you enjoy - who make you laugh, who listen, who appreciate how special you are. You give so much of your positive energy to your caring role.

Spend as much time as you can with people who feed that positive energy and help you recharge.

Find ways to stay in touch

For a range of reasons, it's easy to become isolated from your wider circle of family and friends. Embrace technology - especially if you find you're too busy to visit, phone or email.

There are lots of new ways to communicate quickly and easily. Remember other people's special occassions. A text saying they are in your thoughts is quicker and cheaper than a card.

Facebook is a great way to stay connected and in touch. Even if it's only reading other people's posts.