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
- 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.