How to manage your own mental health?

Hello, recently joined. Sorry we are all here. :cry:

I am struggling with my own mental health. My previously fit and equal co-parent husband developed Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome last year. He has to rest a lot, so I have taken on more of the physical and mental ‘work’ load for our family.

We have so much to be thankful for - his ME is relatively mild, he was off work from the beginning which should help his recovery, there is hope he will recover/recover a bit (I know many on here are caring for those with conditions/situations that won’t get better/will result in death), we should be ok for money - but I am really struggling with mourning him/his input. And whilst ME/CFS isn’t generally life threatening, the prognosis is very unknown - he could get better, he might not. It is such a hidden condition, with lots of misunderstanding (was called Yuppie Flu in 80s/90s) and very little research into it.

I already have mental health issues (years of an eating disorder - I am trying to address this ) and I am feel I am struggling to accept our new life. Our kids are still at school and I work in a fairly full-on senior job. I feel overwhelmed a couple of times a week.

I wondered if anyone has found ways to cope with the mental health aspect of being a carer? I want to still be able to experience joy/see the good in life, as this could how it is forever. I don’t want to focus on a time when he will be better as he might not…

Any good book/podcast etc resource recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Hello and welcome… It sounds like you don’t have much fun in your life anymore now that your husband is ill.
You need some ‘me’ time. Think about things you could do that you would enjoy on your own. Perhaps you like socialising with friends or going to concerts or dancing. You need to have something to look forward to each week. So make time for yourself. I assume that your husband is well enough to look after the kids for a few hours. I hope this helps.

Hi Cuppa Tea

You have got a lot on your plate…i imagine all those responsibilities leave you with little time.

The selfish Pigs Guide to Caring is good to read.

If you are feeling overwhelmed a couple of times a week ,you need to try and build little breaks into your day.

Just need to get back some control.

Could you go for a daily walk during your lunch break?

I know when i get overwhelmed its because I am thinking I have to be superwoman and do it all.

Make something you want to do a daily priority…it could be listening to music for half an hour or reading a book.

Hello and welcome to our forum

Its sounds like you’re dealing with a very difficult situation, have you heard of our weekly meet ups? Every Monday our members come together for an hour at 3pm to have a chat. Its a great chance to meet other members, get tips and chat in confidence. I’ve attached the link for you. We also have a weekly share and learn session, this Thursday we have a 1 hour session on Improving mental calm and resilience with state of mind specialist Chantal Burns will share her insights and help you to with challenges you might be facing as a carer.
More information on these sessions can be found in the link below.
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/online-meetups

with best wishes
Ingrid

Have you talked to your doctor about how you feel, or had professional counselling?
Has Lockdown made things better or worse?

Hello,

Thanks everyone for your replies, I didn’t receive a notice that I’d received replies, sorry! :blush:

Lots of helpful ideas. I am seeing a counsellor for the issues behind the eating disorder, so I have a place to discuss this.

I am not depressed, have had postnatal depression before and I don’t think it is that.

I will look up the Self Pig Guide sounds good. And also the support groups here.

Just wish I could see more joy but I guess joy is limited for all during a global pandemic!

Thank you all very much for taking the time to reply and your supportive comments - it helps that I am not alone.

I’m fed up with the pandemic now. I hate masks, not being able to do anything outside the home normally, and not being able to escape to Crete this year to meet up with friends I meet there every year. Fortunately I love sewing, and my son has been locked down at his flat. Maybe try to plan something different next year? A short break in Devon in March can be very enjoyable, prices still cheap with Sykes Cottages, they jump at the beginning of April. Just a change of scenery will do you both good and give you something fresh to talk about.

Hi Cuppa Tea,

if you click on the little spanner at the top of a thread and select ‘subscribe to topic’ you should receive notifications; then click on your user name a the top right hand of your screen, select ‘user control panel’ and click manage subscriptions - you should be able to see whether this is set up or not. You can also edit your notification options.

“Me” time is definitely the best way to support your now wellbeing and when time is of a premium try looking to see if there is anything you can do to free up time e.g. even a cleaner a few hours a week or someone to cut the grass once a fortnight makes all the difference. Hubby has to be careful not to over do it to relapse, but perhaps he can take on a few different chores spread over the week.

Have you tried mindfulness?

This thread suggests ideas that have helped others https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-and-advice/carers-health-issues/positive-ways-to-cope-with-low-mood-12505

Melly1