“If you don’t do things to keep your cup full, you have nothing left to give others.”
This seems like a pretty practical and obvious “life lesson”, right? Unfortunately, it is often forgotten when you’re caring for and loving someone experiencing a mental health crisis and suicidal ideation. It seems impossible to think of self-care when a loved one is struggling but it’s imperative to remember that self-care is not selfish. If you have found yourself in a situation where self-care has become something you feel you cannot think of, here are just a few reminders.
- There are going to be times when all you can do is cry. When this is the case, it’s ok to take time to cry. You can’t be the “strong” one 24/7. Your feelings are valid and in order to process them, you have to express them.
- REACH OUT! Just as you are acting as support to your loved one, you need someone to support you as well. Find your people. Find those that bring you peace, even if only for a few minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with those in your daily life, support groups are a great way to find those who can empathize with you. Those feelings of pressure, fear, angst, and everything in between? Others are out there feeling them too. You’re never alone. Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are great resources to find support groups near you or online.
- Most importantly, please remind yourself of the strength, resilience, and love that you are carrying. Recognize these attributes within yourself, and be proud. Know the worth of the hard work you are putting in. Never forget to keep your own cup full, whatever that looks like for you. You are a life saver.