How are you doing?
When was the last time you really thought about that question?
We often lead very busy lives. Time flies by, and there’s a lot to manage and deal with. And parenting teens is a full-time job—on top of all the other responsibilities and unforeseen events that come up. There’s no question, it’s a lot to keep track of, and all that information is called your “mental load.” Sometimes you’re fine, but other times you might feel tired, overwhelmed or impatient. Some nights, you don’t sleep so well. Now and then, your engine overheats or you run out of gas. It happens to everyone.
To support your teenager, take care of others, and simply deal with day-to-day life, you tap into your resources: your time, knowledge, physical and mental health, and energy. But there’s only so much you can do, and you need to take care of yourself to avoid burning out or getting sick.
Which expression best represents you today?
The importance of self-care
Better mental health lets you feel better about yourself and others, have more fun, and feel more fulfilled in all areas of your life. Good mental health also helps you be in a better frame of mind to communicate and do activities with your teen, and generally be more “Zen” in your relationship with them. Your teen will also feel better when they see you looking happy and well. And because you’re a role model for your teen, seeing you take care of yourself will teach them the importance of self-care.
There are a number of different ways to manage your stress, such as breathing, relaxation, mindfulness meditation, and exercise (see the resources below). Other options for dealing with life’s challenges include seeing a therapist or making changes at home or in your life. Without necessarily going into too much detail, it can help to tell your teen what you’re going through, talk about your self-care strategies, and give yourself permission to have boundaries and feel vulnerable.
5 steps to self-care :
- Admitting that your mental health is more fragile these days or that it’s time to take care of yourself is the first step to feeling better. But that’s often easier said than done. Sometimes we feel guilty for thinking we could use a break. We tell ourselves we can take on more… But remember that everyone needs time for themselves, to find balance and a sense of well-being. It’s perfectly normal! So, there you have it. The hardest part is over.
- The next step is to ask yourself what would feel good :
- Do you need to rest? Recharge your batteries? Do something fun? Solve a problem?
- Is there someone you can talk to for help feeling better (friend, case worker, professional, doctor, etc.)?
- Is there something else you need? (You’ll find tools and suggestions in the last section.)
- Then, take concrete actions that make you feel good.
- Take the time to appreciate the benefits and relish these moments.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 as often as necessary!
- You deserve to take time to look after yourself and recharge your batteries.
- We live in a world that places strong emphasis on doing a lot and doing it well. But taking the time to slow things down a little often lets us feel better—and perform better—in the long run! And this can sometimes prevent you from getting sick.
- If you need support or professional help, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a health professional. If you’re having dark thoughts or thinking about suicide, call your local suicide prevention centre (1-866-APPELLE) to talk to someone who cares.
- As parents, we’re used to putting everyone else’s well-being ahead of our own. But your teen’s well-being also depends on having a parent who feels good.
- If you have good mental health, you’ll feel better prepared to deal with the challenges of everyday life.
- And above all, you’ll feel more laid back and open to enjoying quality time with your teen.
Resources and practical tools
Resources and services
If you are dealing with a situation that has you worried, do not hesitate to reach out to a support worker or a health and social services professional:
Resources and sites for assessing and addressing your mental health
- 7 astuces pour se recharger (French only)
- Check in on your Mental Health – CMHA – National
- Pratiquer la pleine conscience en famille (French only)
- Alléger sa charge mentale… en simplifiant sa vie familiale! (French only)
- Mouvement Santé mentale Québec (French only)
- Maintaining good mental health
- Access to mental health services
Latest updates : May 2023