It’s really difficult to keep your mental health stable when there is conflict within the family unit. Recently I’ve been going through a disagreement with very close loved ones and it’s taken its toll. I wanted to share some ways that I’ve been coping and important things to remember.
Remember your feelings are valid
However you feel about a situation, your feelings are valid! Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Especially don’t allow anyone to tell you or make you feel (yourself included) as though your feelings ‘come from your mental illness’ rather than from a place of genuine emotion. All of your feelings are valid. You are not over-reacting. You are valid!
Know you have a right to voice your feelings
You have a right to voice your feelings, to be heard and to be taken seriously. Don’t bottle things up or feel that you should keep quiet ‘just to keep the peace’. If there’s something that’s really bothering you, you have every right to speak up.
You are not responsible for other people’s feelings
Inevitably sometimes when we voice our feelings to our loved ones, they might get upset. Although it’s easier said than done, it’s important to know that you are not responsible for their feelings. If you feel they’ve done something wrong and you speak up (provided you aren’t rude or too harsh), them being upset about that is not your responsibility. It’s not nice when our loved ones are upset, but their potential upset is also not a reason to withhold speaking your mind.
Know it’s ok to set boundaries or take a step back
If you feel that despite voicing your feelings, you aren’t ‘getting anywhere’ with the conversation or your loved ones aren’t understanding your point of view, know that it’s ok to set clear boundaries for the sake of your own mental health. If you need to step back and take some space for a while, that’s completely valid too.
Don’t be afraid to put your mental health first
Your mental health is important, vital in fact. Full stop. Don’t be afraid to put your mental health first and do what’s best for you. If there are toxic or negative situations which you feel are detrimentally affecting your mental health, you have a right to try to change them or step away from them. Value yourself and know your worth.
When there is conflict within the family unit it can add to stress levels. Ensure you’re looking after yourself during this time. Practice good self-care, speak to someone else you trust so you don’t feel alone, and do things which bring you joy and make you smile.