As a caregiver, self-care is important! Self-care activities may include:
- Eating healthy & exercising
- Taking a hot bath, tending to the garden, reading a book
- Taking a nap, practicing sleep good hygiene
- Attending a yoga or mindfulness class, practicing deep breathing
- Talking with a trusted friend, attending therapy
- It models healthy behavior for your loved ones
- It offers you a needed relief from the stresses of caring for someone else
It is normal to have a range of emotions when your loved one has attempted to cause harm to themselves. You may feel:
- Shock or disbelief to self-blame
Remember: You are not to blame. Many people find counseling or therapy services helpful in learning to cope with what has happened.
What to Tell Others
- The decision is unique to each person and family. Some people and families limit how much they share. Others find that sharing their experience is helpful.
- Inquire about your child's comfort level. Mental illness is still very misunderstood. Your child may not feel safe having this information shared.
- Listening and supporting your loved one, even if you do not understand their decision(s), can have a significant impact.
Talking to Siblings
- Let your child know that their sibling(s) are asking questions and seek his/her input on what you will share.
- Choose a time when you are not overly upset to speak to your other children. While showing emotion is inevitable and encouraged, children can be frightened when they believe the adults in their lives are not in control.
- Provide them truthful information that is appropriate for their age and developmental level.
- Explain mental illness in direct language they will understand.
- Try to answer any questions they may have but avoid unnecessary details.
- Encourage them to speak freely about it and allow room for emotional responses.
- Assure them that it is not their fault and that you and their sibling loves them.
Talking with Siblings
Speaking with Others