Interrelate's Children's Contact Service offers safe, neutral, flexible, and child-focused time for children and their families to spend time together. The aim of Interrelate Children's Contact Service is to support children to connect and build positive relationships with family members who they do not live with or are not connecting with outside our service.

Taking better care of yourself

Stress, anger, sadness and being overwhelmed are all natural feelings in these types of situations. When parents separate this is a complex and difficult time.

It can be difficult to focus on your child's needs and to take care of yourself. However, if you are effectively taking care of yourself, then you are in a much better place to care for your child.

How you are coping?

Are you experiencing any signs of stress as listed below?

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling anxious and upset
  • Constantly thinking about fights and conflicts
  • Drinking too much or using drugs
  • Eating junk food
  • Not exercising
  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Feeling angry most of the time
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviour
  • Confused about my own needs
  • Nothing left to give
  • Ignoring my own needs as they are 'not important'

Taking better care of yourself

What can you do to take better care of yourself so you can be the parent your children need?

When you are on a plane you are told to put on your own oxygen mask before putting on you child's in an emergency. Taking care of yourself is similar, as it is important to create a stable platform to take care of your child.

It is hard to be an interested and involved parent if you do not look after yourself.

Select 2 or 3 things below that you can do for yourself to improve your self-care, as these will also help you look after your children.

Give yourself time - adjusting to life post-separation takes commitment and planning.

Do something you enjoy each week - take up a new interest or revive an old hobby. Do something just for you.

Make new friends - consider joining a sporting club or a social group.

Find someone you can talk to when you are upset - it could be a friend, relative or a counsellor.

Eat fresh, healthy food and try to minimise your intake of packaged or highly processed food that are often high in salt, sugar and saturated fats.  Exercise regularly as it is a great stress-reliever.

Avoid the overuse of alcohol and drugs, they usually make things worse.
Visit your doctor if you are not feeling well, they can help you work out what you need to feel better.

Engage in health therapies - massage and yoga have many benefits including stress relief.