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Parental Wellbeing

Looking after your own mental health and well being is an important part of being a parent and carer. Parenting is a full time job - as well as the rewards it can be tiring and stressful. If you feel low or stressed - it can feel even harder.

You may worry that you will be judged, and people will think you are not able to be a good parent because you are finding things hard. Lots of parents who struggle at times with their mental health and are very good parents.

Even very young children are very tuned in to how their parents are feeling and will worry about you. They may not be able to explain this. They might instead start ‘acting out’ or seem sad and clingy. The whole family benefits when parents take care of themselves.

  • When you feel ‘low’ you may feel; sad, anxious, worried, frustrated or angry – you might not know why you feel this way. It is normal to have some times when you feel down. You might feel better if;

    • You keep busy and see supportive friends and family.
    • You eat well and get enough rest.
    • You get out in the fresh air – a brisk walk can help release ‘feel good hormones’. Take your children along; it will help everyone’s mood.

  • You could need more help if the feelings drag on longer than a couple of weeks. If you begin to feel that;

    • You have lost interest in things you used to enjoy.
    • Your eating and sleeping patterns have changed.
    • You don’t want to be with your family and friends.
    • You might hurt yourself.

    Then it is important you tell someone and get professional help. See your GP to talk about this.

    If you do not feel ‘safe’ and worry you might hurt yourself; you should ask for an emergency appointment or go to A&E.

  • It is natural to feel worried at times. When changes happen things can start to feel overwhelming. It might help to;

    • Talk to friends and family about how they felt when big changes occurred.
    • Try this mindfulness relaxation technique to calm down your worried thoughts and help with physical symptoms of anxiety; like a fast heart beat and feeling sick.

    If the feelings carry on and you feel restless, scared and like something bad will happen, or you;

    • Have panic attacks that make it hard to carry on with your day.
    • Begin to avoid situations that make you feel anxious.
    • Feel you have to do certain things in a certain way like cleaning or handwashing to keep safe.

    Talk to a professional about it – see your GP or refer yourself to Norfolk Wellbeing Services. There are ways to take back control from your anxiety and services will help with this.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.


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