FOR PARENTS AND CARERS - ARE YOUR LOVED ONES FACED WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES? IF SO, HOW CAN YOU MIND AND CARE FOR YOURSELF WHILE BEING THERE FOR THOSE YOU LOVE?
For me, this is a special area of interest. Being a parent of three, I understand the roller coaster ride that is parenting. At times the love, the laughter and other times the stress and heartache we take on when we see our loved ones in pain. This may be when we hear about the incident at school, the broken relationship or perhaps the challenges our children face when trying to fit in with their peers.
I also recognise how life can be even more challenging for who suffer with their mental health. As parents and carers we are often left with feelings of, frustration, self-blame, anger, inadequacy, helplessness and more. Sometimes with nowhere to turn. These feelings are normal and human. But what I really want to share with you, is that kindness, compassion, patience, love and empathy, are far more useful for all concerned. Of course, this starts with ourselves first and foremost and can have far more beneficial results for all concerned.
So, where does Mindfulness come into all of this? Mindfulness is a great teacher for life, first and foremost teaching us how to self-care among the chaos. When stressful emotions begin to take over, various Mindfulness practices, teach us how to step back, to breathe, rebalance and gain perspective. We become compassionate, focussed, loving and kind towards ourselves and we recognise the value of this in our relationships with our children and young adults.
Mindfulness teaches us 'not to sweat the small stuff' and how to be mindful when the bigger life events appear.
Here is an article I created for ‘Lust for Life. - the award winning, Irish well-being movement that is dedicated to transforming how we talk about, and treat Mental Health.
Learning to look after ourselves is a powerful way to lead by example.
Through one to one coaching with the world renowned Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme we can bring self-care skills to the situation.
Coleen Songs says “You cannot breathe life into someone refusing to inhale" and I say "You can breathe yourself until they are ready"