Advice & Support Maintaining a Healthy Mind

Maintaining a Healthy Mind

Caring for your child is rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful at times.
Feeling out-of-control, fear for your child’s well-being, uncertainty about their future or worrying about finances can be extremely stressful, potentially increasing the risk of developing anxiety and depression.
If you're struggling, you may see a decline in your mood, your productivity may decrease, your relationships may be impacted and you may even find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. This in turn may further negatively affect your mental health.

As you care for your child, it is important that you also make your needs a priority, which includes managing and caring for your own mental health. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.


Signs you may be dealing with anxiety or depression

Signs of anxiety
  • Avoidance of activities that you once enjoyed
  • Feelings of guilt over taking time off from caring for your child
  • Inability to sleep
  • Exhaustion or severe tiredness
  • Feelings of tension
  • Inability to concentrate or remember details
  • Inability to talk to others about your experience
  • Constant irritability
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Heart racing or shortness of breath
  • Thoughts of suicide because you feel so overwhelmed or inadequate

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, please call the Canada Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645.

Tools for positive mental health for you and your family

In times of uncertainty, establishing a new routine or rituals can be a calming, grounding practice. A ritual can be anything from daily meditation, prayer, affirmations or deep breathing. Rituals can serve to transcend the endless chatter and worries in our minds, and provide a sense of control and calm. Find a time everyday, ideally around the same item of day, and spend a few minutes creating a ritual that is meaningful for you.

When to seek professional help

While stress is a universal human experience, parents caring for children with cerebral palsy  can be more vulnerable to anxiety and depression  as a result of the additional demands placed upon them by their child’s needs and worry about their child’s future . If you or a family member are struggling with anxiety or depression, or just don’t feel like yourself anymore, consult your healthcare provider. A professional and compassionate healthcare provider will be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment options.

CP Smile Project

The CP Smile Project is a community project that helps ensure children with cerebral palsy have access to recreational opportunities that allow them to engage in play and community involvement. We give monthly bursaries to families to help them provide the support needed for their child to engage in play and have fun.