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Tips for Self-Care

MOST OF ALL, to be an effective advocateparent, and partner you must keep your own life going!  DON’T create a bubble around you and your child’s illness.



  • Take time to enjoy yourself and do things to take your mind away from the illness of your child.  Structure your day and stick to a schedule.
  • Pace yourself.  Don’t be afraid to not always be there.
  • Remain positive and optimistic – keep that sense of hope.
  • Grieve your loss and dream new dreams.
  • If it is indeed a mental illness accept the fact that your child is not choosing to be “bad” and that they may not have control due to the illness.
  • Acknowledge that those around you may react negatively to the words “mental illness”.  Develop a thick skin.  You did not cause the illness and you can not cure it.
  • Get counselling if you cannot deal with how you are feeling about the illness of your child – feelings of guilt, shame and grief are normal.
  • Sometimes you may need to give up some authority.  Let events take place as they unfold.  Be ready to compromise.
  • Understand that it may take time to make a diagnosis.
  • Take time for just you and/or you and your significant other.
  • Join a support group and find out as much information as possible.
  • Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water throughout the day to maintain your energy.
  • Try to exercise or do something active on a regular basis.
  • Practice meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques.
  • Get a good night’s sleep even if it means taking the phone off the hook for the evening.
  • Try distraction: spending time with pets, going for a walk, watching television, HOUSEWORK!
  • Look for humour in unexpected places and laugh out loud!
  • Practice self-compassion and NOT self-pity.