Parents, raising teenager can be stressful. Many parents who are raising a teenager with a mental health issue forget to set aside some time for yourselves. Some parents reading this might be thinking that setting aside time for yourself isn’t really an option or that it’s unnecessary, however taking care of yourselves will allow you to help your teen even better. It is also important to take care of yourselves because it will help you maintain your own emotions and mental health. There are two main kinds of self care for you to focus on as parents. There is the physical self care side of things and then the emotional, psychological self care side of things. Both are important.
If you are wondering what are some different things you can do for self-care, here are a few ideas of things to focus on. Some of these might seem obvious, but sometimes in the midst of a busy life and trying to raise a healthy teen it can be easy to dismiss a few of these.
- Getting enough sleep
- Regular exercise
- Eat healthy
- Spend some time outside/get some fresh air
- Take a break from technology (TV, phones, email, etc)
These are very basic things, however if you try to take the time in your day to do these things, you will start to feel a lot better and ready for whatever life throws at you. I know this from personal experience as my brother has severe anxiety and my parents began cooking less and eating less healthy food and exercised much less because they were so caught up in helping my brother. Once they started focusing on making sure they were eating healthy and going on walks there was a big improvement in their mood and they were better equipped to help my brother.
The second side of self care for parents in particular is the emotional and psychological side of things. Now these things may seem a little less necessary, however it is important for everyone to have something in their life that makes them happy. So here is a list of a few things you can do if you can set aside a little bit of time for yourself everyday:
- Write in a journal
- Find a hobby
- Quiet time
- Spend time with your friends
By just doing one or two of these things you will be able to tell the difference in your own physical and mental state. As parents you might feel like this isn’t as important as focusing on your teen 24/7, however it becomes much harder to help your child if you are not in a good mental state yourself.