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You are just as important!
As parents, you will often be thinking about your children's health, wellbeing and feelings first – but remember you are just as important. This is a really difficult and challenging situation, and you need to find ways to take care of yourself so that you can continue supporting your children.
Here’s some advice for looking after yourself:
- It's okay to feel worried. We are living in uncertain times and it is completely natural to feel stressed and anxious – so try not to put pressure on yourself to feel fine or normal.
- Keep a daily routine going as much as you can. It might help to create a plan for your day each morning with your family – so that you can fit school work, family time, exercise, meals and me-time in. But don’t be hard on yourself when the routine is difficult to stick to and things are different – all of our routines have changed and this is unavoidable.
- Remember that you can only do your best to support your children with their school work.
- Take time out. It might be really difficult to find time, or even space, for yourself at the moment – but it is important that you do something each day that you enjoy. It might be watching that Netflix series you’ve been meaning to start, having a soak in the bath, doing some exercise or reading a book. Whatever it is, make sure you take some time for yourself.
- Stay connected. Now more than ever, it is so important for us to keep in touch with our friends, families and work colleagues – so make use of the instant messaging and video calling services that are out there, and keep catching up regularly.
- Try not to compare yourself to what other families are doing or the way they’re handling this. We’re all doing our best and we’re coping with different stresses and situations.
- Seek support and ask for help if you are struggling with your mental health during this period. Keep in touch with your GP by phone or online if you need to, and make use of helplines and other organisations that may still be able to offer online or phone support.
If you’re unsure about anything and need some advice, you can call the Parents Helpline for free. They’re open Monday-Friday from 9.30am-4pm and you can reach us on 0808 802 5544.
If you need further help after speaking to one of the Helpline Advisers, they can refer you to one of their mental health specialists – who range from psychotherapists to psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses. They will arrange a phone consultation within seven days of your call.