Taking care of the carer

Taking care of yourself is one of the most powerful ways to take care of others.

October is Mental Health Month – a time to dedicate to achieving the best health and wellbeing you can.

Caring for a child with a life-threatening condition can be emotionally and physically exhausting, so when you are looking after others it is important to recognise your own limitations.

We asked some parents supported by Very Special Kids what they do to get through the hard times. They came up with these tips for looking after yourself while caring for a child with a life-threatening condition.

  • I find I talk things through a lot, with people I trust. I find that my counselling sessions help a lot
  • It helps me to sleep if I have a long hot bath with candles, a glass of wine and meditation music just before bed
  • Scheduling date nights with my husband and going on a girls’ night out helps too
  • When the going gets tough I try to remind myself to just deal with today, don’t stress the tomorrow or next week, just get through today
  • If I know it’s a long hospital admission I get a volunteer for my child and I have a sleep or cup of tea by myself
  • Three breath hug: In times of deep distress and fear gather together, arms around each other and take 3 deep breathes together

Very Special Kids has a dedicated Family Support Team that specialises in counselling for families who are caring for a child with a life-threatening condition and for bereaved families. To find out more information click here.