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?
  • Exercise
  • Listen to music
  • Take a ‘Mental Health Day’
  • Let people know your limits
  • Eat well
  • Stand outside
  • Meditate

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

Self-care assessment

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