I have been on antidepressants ever since being diagnosed with depression as a teenager.

These medicines mean I cope with most things that come my way.

They do not however stop me from having my bad days like everyone else and having 2 children with disabilities these bad days can be quite frequent and so I have learnt a few ways to cope with these days.

Personal Space

This may sound like a dream, we have all seen the memes regarding parents and their personal space or alone time but it is something I insist on.

I let my husband know I am having a bath and I am locking the door and for that 45 minutes it is just me in the bathroom. It is just my thoughts.

I am not a carer for 45minutes. I don’t need to worry about doctors, about the next round of fighting my child to have her medicine.

It is just me, maybe a magazine and some candles.

45 minutes is 3% of your day. If you can’t have just 3% of your day to be you then you are never relaxing, you are never switching off and switching off is something I have found is key to my mental well-being.

Small Treats

When was the last time we treated ourselves?

I know before I actively gave myself small treats I would have said the last treat was probably before having children.

The small treats don’t need to cost anything, it could be a quick 5 minutes of popping into the garden to just smell the flowers, it could be once all the children are in bed doing your nails.

It could even mean having a nap when your child has a nap or is at school instead of doing the chores.

It may be putting a bar of chocolate into your trolley for later that night and not sharing any of it as it is your treat.

Seeking Help

Sometimes saying to your partner, family or friends that actually today isn’t going right.

That today you haven’t got the mental strength to do anything helps.

Having people you can call and feel safe about saying,

“I’m really struggling today, everything is getting on top of me” and being able to speak honestly, be able to rant and moan about life, be able to cry and to be able to just lift the emotional burden by sharing it always helps me.

My friends are brilliant, I put the kids to bed and then when the husband is home I go out for a walk with my friends and I put the world to rights.

They just hug me and that is one of the most mentally uplifting things a hug.

I always come back and feel like I can face the world again and we need this as we are fighting the world everyday for our children.

What I call down days every one goes through and it is normal.

It would be wrong to say your always fine and I feel that the more we are honest and say that actually I am not coping today is the start of being able to help yourself and your mental health.

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