Self-care is very often the last consideration for caregivers. I have seen this time and time again at family support meetings, and I have heard all the excuses. It is something I talk about often because it was significant in my life when I actually started taking care of myself. Taking a break helps you to provide better support because you are less stressed. Many people though, do not take this seriously. Some people think that they the not the issue and there are more important things to focus on. This is so wrong. I will only say that if you do nothing else, take care of yourself because it is absolutely essential.
Learning everything that I could about mental illness became my first priority. I went over this subject in detail earlier but it deserves to be added again here because it has been such an important key to my well-being and that of my daughter. Knowledge gives some power where mental illness is concerned. I focused on specific topics that would help me support my daughter. Later I included learning about self-care and then learning about the local Health Authority. Obviously learning about mental illness and mental health care is an enormous task, especially when there are so many variables and so much is still unknown. I am still learning and will probably never stop, but hopefully, I can continue to share the things I have learned and they will benefit other people.