If the man in your life is struggling with addiction, you know all too well the toll it can have on your physical and mental health. And while it’s normal to want to put his needs in front of yours, caring for yourself is a crucial part of your caregiving duties.
By maintaining your physical and mental health, you’ll be more resilient and more able to weather hard times and enjoy good ones, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place the first week of each October, the NAMI put together a few tips for caregivers to mind their own mental health.
Here are a few good mental health habits to start practicing today:
- Don’t’ get weighed down by guilt. “A better person wouldn’t be annoyed with their spouse.” While this type of thinking is normal it’s also unproductive and untrue, according to the NAMI. To dial down stress and feel more in control, try taking note of your feelings without judging them as good or bad.
- Do take note of the positive. The NAMI suggests the following activity: Write down one thing each day (or each week) that was good. And it can be tiny — “It was a sunny day,” for example – as long as it’s real.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being willing to accept help isn’t easy, but it is a necessary life skill when caring for a loved one with addiction. So stop thinking that you can (or should be able to) solve everything yourself. Often, the people who seem like they know how to do everything are actually frequently asking for help, notes the NAMI.
- Do keep up social ties. Who has time to meet a friend for coffee? Being a caregiver is an important part of your life, but it’s not everything. If you can meet up with a friend once a month, or go to a community event at your local library once every two months, it still helps keep you connected, says the NAMI.
Family Night at 10 Acre Ranch
Every Wednesday night, we offer family night where families and clients are educated together on the disease of addiction. When the family has a full understanding of the disease, and the client understands how their actions affect the family, the healing process is greatly enhanced begin. To learn more about our family therapy, call today: 877-228-4679.