Families can and do experience stress and challenges. It’s important to consider your stress levels as well as your physical, emotional and mental health when challenges occur.
Self-care and support
Self-care is a great source of support during stressful times and challenges – you can try:
- Finding time alone to process thoughts.
Try setting aside time during your day to reduce distractions and reflect on your physical, emotional and mental health. Planning ahead to create alone-time means it’s more likely to happen.
- Writing in a journal.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings creates time for reflection and new ways of looking at stressful things. A journal can be simple – blank pages in a book, scrap paper stapled together – or you can make it a creative or craft activity by doodling, drawing or making collages in a blank book.
- Engaging in physical activity.
Going for walks or trying something new like joining a class can be helpful. Learning something new has the added benefit of exercising your brain and giving yourself a mental break from stresses.
- Joining a support group.
Groups exist to provide support on many issues such as parenting, illnesses and disorders or other self-help topics. If discussing issues in a group of like-minded people is something that appeals to you, you can check out community centres, or ask friends and family for suggestions.
- Seeking professional help and/or support if needed.
At times family issues can add to stress levels and lead to mental health concerns that need to be addressed. You can find professional help at Getting Help on this website.
- Adding spirituality or mindfulness to your life.
Spirituality is a personal concept, and can be a way of adding meaning to your life. Visit the Youth section pages on Spirituality and Mindfulness section of this site for more information.
- Starting a hobby.
If you have a hobby already, try to set aside time for it. If you don’t have one, is there something you’ve always wanted to try?
Volunteering can vary and may include activities such as helping out with a team, fundraising for a local cause or helping out at a community centre or church when events are on.
- Renewing a helpful friendship.
It’s common for people to drift apart when life gets busy. Most good friendships withstand these gaps. Often they can rekindled by just reaching out – pick up the phone or send an email to a friend you haven’t connected with lately, and you might find lots of support waiting for you.
- Taking an inventory of your life.
Would taking a break from a certain activity benefit you? Is something adding a lot of stress to your life, but not a lot of value? Sometimes people keep up activities that become less helpful over time because others expect them to, or because they haven’t really thought about why they still do it.
- Being kind to yourself.
Remember, you are doing the best you can in stressful times. If you find yourself being self-critical, take a moment to remind yourself of positive things.
Check out the Links and Resources section for more information.