Taking care of yourself
Supporting someone through family violence can be frustrating, stressful, lengthy and frightening.
If you are a family friend or extended family member you may be shocked and confused to learn that a person you like and trust is abusing their family. Please remember to believe the young person regardless of your immediate reaction. In this situation it’s best to contact a family violence service for advice and you may like to speak to a counsellor about the feelings this brings up for you.
The Lookout has information and resources on where to get help, support videos and booklets for the friends and family of someone who is being abused. The DVRCV website also has a comprehensive list of help and advice.
You may have experienced something similar and it may trigger flashbacks that are difficult to deal with or prevent you from being involved. Whatever the circumstances, you need to care for yourself as well. You could:
- Share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend or counsellor
- Be assertive with your feelings and concerns
- Take a bath or read a book
- Watch a funny movie or meet with a friend who makes you laugh
- Ask yourself: What is worrying me most? How does it make me feel? Who could help me to change it? What could I do to calm my mind?
- Listen to music
- Take a ‘Mental Health Day’
- Let people know your limits
- Eat well
- Stand outside
Reachout.com.au has great resources for different aspects of self-care including workplace, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and relationships. The resources are designed for professionals working with young people but would be useful in your situation too:
1 Giant Mind
free 12 step meditation app for Apple and Android
free Melbourne-based iPhone app that supports users to complete healthy tasks like exercising more, going outside or seeing a friend
This quiz can help you identify your current self-care activities and where you may have gaps
Self-care plan template
Use the results of your quiz to write a tailored self-care plan
Other self-care apps include:
free app for mindfulness and meditation. Blog has relaxation tips.
Stop, Breathe & Think
short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos
Centre for Mindfulness
guided audio files to practice stress reduction
TED Self-care playlist
collection of videos about taking care of your emotions and managing stress