Relationships are hard. They take plenty of love, diligence, and hard work. This becomes amplified if you have a partner who needs support through depression. Many who have loved ones in this situation often wonder how to offer encouragement and support while maintaining their own mental health.
A new article we found in The Guardian UK offers excellent advice to this regard. Author Poorna Bell speaks of her own experience supporting her partner who lives with depression and is filled with fantastic tips and real examples that can shed some light on what to do. But the most important takeaway from this beautiful article is a focus on the most important aspect: self-care. It is easy to put your own needs to the side out of concern for your loved one who is battling any kind of health issue, but if you don’t care for yourself, you are eventually of no real help. We love this quote from the article: “That pressure to keep it all going can feel too much,” says Dr. Monica Cain, a counseling psychologist at Nightingale Hospital in London. She advises “taking that pressure seriously. It’s something that is very difficult to manage even at the best of times.”
We encourage anyone in this situation to read this compelling piece and to remember to take the advice within. Love is a beautiful thing, and those living with mental health conditions need it along with understanding. But the most important step is to remember to love yourself first. It’s the greatest first step you can take in the journey to support those you love.