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A parent and expert’s view

Self-care refers an activity or behaviour that is caring, nurturing and healthy towards yourself. Watch Dr Monika Parkinson explain why it's important
It’s really, really important for parents and carers to be able to look after their own needs and to be able to put themselves first from time to time, especially when they’re caring for others or looking after and supporting children who are feeling low or have other difficulties. Well, research actually shows us that parents find it incredibly difficult to put their own needs first. It’s almost as if they put their life on hold while their child is not OK. But actually, what we want parents to realise is that the more OK they are, the more they will be able to support their children.
And a lot of parents say that they feel really guilty about that, and they feel like they can’t possibly have fun or go and do a really nice activity or go and take time out when they know that their child is not feeling OK. And what we’re trying to say is actually, we need to flip that the other way around and think about this as a really crucial first step in being able to support others.

Watch Dr Monika Parkinson explain why self-care is important when supporting a young person with low mood and depression.

As you discussed in the previous Step, self-care can be many things including:

Resting, admitting you’re not coping, having fun, taking time for yourself, eating well, seeking help from others, saying ‘no’ when you don’t want to do something, saying ‘yes’ when you really want to do something, having a long bath, going for a run, getting professional help, listening to your favourite music or podcast, asking others to help you, doing things slowly, sleeping, being silly, meditating, learning something new just for you, time with friends, looking after your health needs, setting aside time for your hobbies, having a lie in, having a giggle with a friend, watching a film.

In this optional second video, a parent (played by an actor but based on real case examples) shares her view.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

This article is from the free online

COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression

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