Your mental health is just as important as anyone else’s.

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Learn to recognize when you’re struggling, devote some time to self-care and reach out for help when you need it.

Signs You’re Stressed

Often, we become hyper-aware to signs that a loved one is stressed, but do you also pick up on your
own tell-tale signs?

Here are a few common signs that you’re stressed out:

Feeling restless, tired, or having a hard time falling asleep

Eating more than usual, or not feeling hungry  

Smoking, drinking, or doing drugs more than usual

Headaches, increased blood pressure, or increased susceptibility to colds, flu, or infection

Mood swings, or crying more often and more easily

Feeling helpless, overwhelmed, inadequate, unable to cope, or burned out

Talking and hanging out with friends less

Difficulty making decisions, solving problems, concentrating or remembering things

It’s normal to get stressed. 

Setting clear boundaries may help avoid excessive stress, but it’s vital to check in with yourself once in a while and carve out some time to unwind. 

Take care of your mental health.

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It’s important to take care of your mental health just like you do your physical health, but being there for yourself is about more than stereotypical self-care activities (like doing yoga or treating yourself to a bubble bath). Maintaining your own mental health looks different for everyone and it usually isn’t a shopping spree or an Instagram-worthy cupcake. It’s about noticing when you’re stressed or struggling, knowing what you need to be healthy and taking the time to do it.

When you’re supporting someone else in their mental health, it’s easy to get caught up in their needs and focus your time and energy on being there for them. Sometimes we can forget that our own mental health is just as important. It’s kind of like those oxygen masks in airplanes; you’re supposed to put yours on first and then help those around you. This doesn’t mean you have to have perfect mental health before you can be a support to others. None of us ever have perfect mental health. It is, however, important to pay attention to how you’re doing and take the time to care for your own mental health.

Three things to remember:

Self care is not a treat.

Supporting someone struggling with their mental health is often a long journey.

Progress may come slowly and put you through many ups and downs. Self-care becomes even more important when supporting someone long-term. Self care is not self-indulgent, it’s an important part of staying healthy that everyone needs to make time for. Take care of yourself and just keep following those Golden Rules. 

Questions from the Community

What if a situation or someone’s behaviour is upsetting or triggering to me? If I'm feeling overwhelmed, how do I take a step back without giving the impression I’m giving up on them? What if things get worse and I'm not able to help them? How do I take care of myself after an upsetting event or after getting tough news? How do I address my own feelings of guilt if I can’t be what they need?

So now what?

With all your Be There knowledge, the options are endless. Let's move forward together.
 

Be There