12 Ways to Care for Yourself While Caring for Someone with Mental Illness

7. Choose Gratitude.

When things are difficult and you don’t know what the future holds, it’s easy to become discouraged. And while that’s natural, don’t allow yourself to become trapped by despair. Invite the light in through thoughtfully reflecting on the blessings in your life. This can be as simple as taking a couple of extra minutes in your prayers to give unrushed thanks for the things that are going well, writing what you’re thankful for in your journal, or perhaps penning a thank you note. 

8. Eat for Emotional Equilibrium.

12 Ways to Care for Yourself While Caring for Someone with Mental Illness

A diet heavy in empty calories sets one up for a rollercoaster ride of emotions, which is the last thing you need. Changing our diets for the better can help to change our emotional outlooks for the better.

Rather than trying to overhaul your diet all at once, consider making just one change a week. Soon you’ll find you’ve revamped your diet dramatically for the better.

9. Exercise to Stress Less.

Research shows that going for a walk or jog can make a tremendous difference in one’s stress level. If you don’t have that kind of time, even 10 minutes can have a positive impact. Exercise reduces the body’s stress hormone levels and stimulates the production of endorphins, which produce a feeling of relaxation and optimism. And who doesn’t need some of that, especially in stressful circumstances?

If you’re not exercising regularly, make a plan for how you can squeeze it in. Be creative. For example, put some energetic music on and hold an impromptu family dance. The whole family will be feeling better after some energizing fun.

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