Parental mental health

There are plenty of ways that you can help to look after your mental health. Here are some ideas and feel good activities that might give you a boost.

Be kind to yourself

Being a parent is hard, and sometimes it seems like everyone else is doing it better, or finding it easier. But the truth is, they're not. So, instead of stressing about what you didn't do, try giving yourself credit for all the things you did accomplish. Before bedtime, make a list of three positive things from your day to remind yourself of the great job you're doing.

Take a stroll

Try to take time to go for a walk and breathe in the fresh air. Take in the sights, sounds and smells around you. This will help to re- focus your mind, walking is a great source of exercise, being active releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and sleep well.

Stay connected

Sometimes being a parent can feel very lonely, but it doesn’t have to – if you have friends and family with children they will know exactly how it feels! If you are feeling down there is nothing better than a good chat with a friend to give you a boost! There are lots of groups that you and your little ones can go (link to groups). Getting out and about will make you feel less alone and you will be able to talk to parents with children of similar ages.

Try mindfulness and relaxation

Try Relaxation Techniques, Mind have some really good, free exercises you can try: Relaxation exercises

Relaxation and mindfulness help you to stay in the moment so that you are not worrying about the future, or dwelling on things that happened in the past.

Do something you enjoy

When you become a parent, it can be hard to remember how life was before. Try to take time to recapture some of the activities you enjoyed. Little things like reading a book, listening to music, shopping, visiting the gym, crafting and watching TV not designed for toddlers, even for a short time, help you take time for yourself and focus on who you are outside of being a parent.

Make some time in the week to enjoy your interests. Focusing on yourself a bit can do wonders for your stress levels and self-esteem.

Stress and anxiety

As a parent you focus on much more than just yourself. You have several people’s welfare, worries and woes on your shoulders. It is easy to start feeling worn down and worn out! This article from the Psychology Mum has some great ideas and activities to try to help you get through.

Mental health tips and coping strategies for parents - BBC tiny happy people

More help with stress and anxiety

Stress plays a big part in everyday life and a little stress is normal. If you start to feel stressed or anxious about things that you didn’t used to or if you feel this way most of the time, then it’s really important to get help from a professional. You could make an appointment with you GP or try Contact North Staffs Mind.

Low mood, sadness and depression

Most people feel a bit low sometimes and this can be made worse by problems in a relationship, a recent loss, physical illness, having a baby and many more factors. It is important to remember that everyone can have the blues from time to time but if you are not feeling at all like yourself, not enjoying the things that you are used to or are feeling hopeless then it is important that you see a GP.