1. Become informed.

Learn as much as you possibly can about mental health issues, and what helps recovery. Learn the difference between living in an environment of distress and wellbeing (attend a recovery workshop).

 

2. Set boundaries.

Set limits with yourself first. Use “I” statements. Be clear and realistic about what you expect and what you will accept.

 

3. Enjoy yourself.

Despite the difficulties that you and your family may be experiencing, ensure to spend time with hobbies, study, a job, and fun activities.

 

4. Laugh.

As much as you possibly can, try to find humour in ridiculous situations that arise. Relieving chronic stress and tension is important.

 

5. Reach out.

Ask empathetic others to help you keep your perspective. Seek social support for yourself too. If friends and family are not a place for you to turn, begin with networks such as SF Wellington groups, fieldworkers, and peer support partners.

 

6. Accept your relative.

Love and respect your relative exactly as they are. Let go of expectations that they should be different than they are in any way. Even when you disagree and/or want things to be better for your relative, don’t need them to be.

 

7. Have hope.

Believe in mental health recovery, and know that this experience is a unique process that does have meaning.

 

8. Share.

Offer your learning to others at groups and as a peer support trainee- your experience is valuable.