Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

Wellbeing advice for parents and carers

As a parent or carer, your child’s wellbeing is probably your priority. However, it is important to remember to maintain your own wellbeing, as your child’s wellbeing will have a close link to yours.

It can be difficult to stay motivated if you’re experiencing your own personal difficulties or family problems. However, it’s key to remember that you can shape your child’s wellbeing by being in control of your own. Below are some steps you can take to improve your wellbeing:

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    You can shape your child’s wellbeing by being in control of your own

Stay connected

If you are experiencing personal difficulties or family problems, then having someone to confide in can really help. Allowing our stresses to build up can lead to them coming out in the wrong way (such as aggression or shouting). Having someone like a friend, family member or colleague who can support you and allow you to offload can be invaluable. Sharing your worries and fears could lead to the right support for you and your family.

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Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Getting enough sleep, eating the right foods and staying active can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and thus improve your wellbeing. These are things that can be done as a family. Involve the kids with the cooking - this will help them develop their skills whilst learning about different types of food. Suggest a family walk or bike ride - being out in the sun and exercising releases our feel-good endorphins.

For some recipes to cook as a family please click here.

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Keep up to date with the kids

Find out a bit more about what is happening in your child's life. Promoting open and honest conversations will help with their confidence in talking to you as a parent. It also allows you to support them in the right way if they are experiencing some difficulties. If it’s something you can’t help with straight away, reassure them that you’re going to look into it and try your best to help. By helping them you are helping yourself and improving everyone’s wellbeing.

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Take some time for yourself

Being a parent can be tiring as you’re busy making sure the kids are getting to school and to all their other activities. You can neglect the things that you enjoy. Doing things as a family can be great and rewarding however ensuring you dedicate some time during the week to doing the things you enjoy is just as important.

Find a local club or activities in your area that you can get involved in. Or simply go for a coffee with friends or read that book that’s been sat on the shelf since Christmas, the choice is yours.

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The five ways to wellbeing

The NHS has developed a five-step plan to improve your wellbeing which is a great tool to use for the whole family. By following this it will mean that everyone stays happy and feel a lot of satisfaction in life. To read more about the five ways to wellbeing click here.

Further support

Search for your local young person service who will support you with managing your wellbeing if you are living with a child who is using drugs or alcohol. Alternatively, chat to one of our web chat practitioners who can advise you on what to do next.

Useful websites

  • Mental Health Foundation - Support and research for good mental health.
  • Mind - Explains how to improve and maintain your mental wellbeing, whether you have a diagnosis of a mental health condition or not.
  • NHS Change 4 Life Recipes - Recipes from the NHS for a healthy and balanced diet.

Useful apps

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  • Headspace - Themed sessions to help with your wellbeing, stress and sleep. SOS sessions help with sudden meltdowns.
  • Couch to 5k - An app to get you up and running within 9 weeks. Ideal for beginner runners.
  • Live happy - Bringing you scientifically proven tips and ideas to live a happier and more meaningful life through interviews with positive psychology and well-being thought leaders.
  • The Way of Life - The Way of Life app is that tool - a beautiful, intuitive habit tracker that motivates you to build a better, stronger and healthier you.