Though you are best equipped to raise a happy and healthy family when you’re both physically and mentally well, it’s not always possible. As an adult, you will go through things that can ultimately change your life. Not to mention, the life of your loved ones.
A workplace accident could leave you incapable of providing for your family as you recover. Financial troubles could leave you stressed, anxious, and unavailable mentally to your kids. Even something more extreme like a serious health diagnosis or mental illness could have an impact on your ability to parent.
While some of these circumstances are temporary and pass quickly, others can be long-term, permanent, or life-altering. Knowing how to get yourself and your family through these trying times is ultimately the best solution. Below, is some advice.
This bit of advice comes first because many parents become guilty of this. They self-medicate as a means to get past overwhelming emotions or pains. They abuse drugs, alcohol, and prescription meds to press on, but this is never the answer. You become dependent on these substances which deteriorate your health even further taking you further away from your goal of being there for your kids.
If you have started self-medicating get help. Maybe that workplace accident did more than harm you physically, but was traumatic and caused extreme stress and anxiety. Instead of using pills, turning to the bottle, or using street drugs to cope, check into a rehab facility with seeking safety therapy methods are used. What is seeking safety? It’s a method specifically designed for those suffering from PTSD to help them learn positive coping methods for getting through their overwhelming emotions.
The first thing you want to do is get the care you need. You may be afraid of what the doctor has to say, fearful of the treatments you have to undergo, or confused about what comes next but neglecting the need for medical assistance will only make matters worse. Avoiding the surgeon because you’re afraid of getting surgery for your injured leg or back will only prolong your pain and suffering from your accident. Similarly, not talking to a therapist about your depression, anxiety, or PTSD will only keep your mind in a mental fog longer.
Take Care of Yourself
Just because you’re not doing well physically or mentally doesn’t mean you give up on tending to your needs. It is through practiced self-care that you will boost your spirits and speed up your recovery process. Make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet, exercising (as you can), and getting plenty of rest. Try to find ways to treat yourself and do things that make you feel good. Since stress is known to heighten physical and mental health problems finding ways to relieve it helps the entire family.
Communicate Often with Your Family
Your children no matter how old they are will pick up on changes in the household. They pick up on your vibes and will start to isolate themselves or even act out as a result. The best thing you can do is communicate often. As you learn about your health problem talk with your family (in an age-appropriate manner, of course) about what’s going on, what steps you’re going to take, and what areas you’ll need their assistance in. Also, be sure to talk about their feelings. If you notice they too are having a hard time coping, be sure to get them assistance as well.
Continue Your Routines
Though you may need assistance from other friends and family members try as best you can to continue your routines. Children need structure and can easily get pas the stress of things when life seems normal. Make sure they’re still getting to school on time, allow them to continue participating in their activities after school, share meals together, and most importantly, spend as much bonding time together as you can.
It can be really tough to find out that your health isn’t fully intact. Whether it’s a physical or mental health issue, when you have the responsibility of raising and supporting a family you often wonder how you’ll get by. Though it may seem like all is lost, to keep your family happy and healthy all you have to do is take care of yourself, get the treatment you need, and be there the best you can.