A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders - Part II: The impact on families
Outline - Chapter 5: Self-care
In Chapter 4, we discussed the enormous challenges involved in having a loved one with both mental health and substance use problems. You and your family members should never underestimate the benefits of taking care of yourselves. Taking good care of yourself gives you more physical and emotional energy to deal with the challenges you face, and that will benefit your family member with the illness. Family members will each find their own way to care for themselves. Being able to soothe, relax and calm yourself involves:
- knowing what kinds of thoughts and behaviours make you feel better or worse
- coming up with a self-care plan that helps you to prevent or overcome the negative feelings.
This plan involves following a structured routine each day, engaging in a particular activity, spending time with a good friend, or focusing on a way of thinking—anything that may comfort you and give you a sense of well-being and stability. We will develop a self-care plan later in this chapter.