Welcome to another insightful episode of "Shit That Goes On in Our Heads," where we bring you real stories about mental health struggles and triumphs. Today, we are excited to share Laurie's inspiring journey of self-care and hope as she navigates her teenage daughter's mental health challenges.

Meet Laurie

Laurie, a dedicated mother of four, faced the most challenging period during the COVID-19 pandemic. With her teenage daughter experiencing severe mental health issues, Laurie realized she needed to change her approach not only to help her daughter but also to take care of herself. Her story is one of resilience, growth, and the power of self-care.

5 Key Takeaways from Laurie's Journey

1. Self-Care is Essential for Caregivers

Laurie learned the hard way that neglecting her well-being while trying to support her daughter led to burnout and resentment. She discovered that taking time for herself, even if it was just five minutes of journaling daily, significantly improved her ability to cope and support her daughter effectively.

2. Building a Support Network is Crucial

Laurie emphasizes the importance of having a crisis plan and a support network. She highlights how contacting friends, family, or hotlines can provide immediate help and emotional support during critical moments.

3. Small Steps Lead to Big Changes

Laurie's journey began with small steps, like journaling for five minutes daily. Over time, she added that other self-care practices, such as breathing exercises and spending time in nature, had a profound impact on her mental health and overall well-being.

4. The Power of Routine

Establishing a morning and evening routine helped Laurie create a sense of stability and calm. This routine included activities that nurtured her mind and body, setting a positive tone for the day and helping her unwind at night.

5. Embrace Nature

Laurie found solace in nature, often hiking with her family and dog. The tranquility and beauty of the outdoors provided her with a much-needed respite from the stress of daily life and a space to recharge.

5 Actionable Items for Caregivers

1. Create a Crisis Plan

Develop a simple, one-page crisis plan that includes emergency contacts, hotlines, and immediate steps to take during a mental health crisis. Having this plan readily available can be a lifesaver in critical situations.

2. Start Journaling

Begin with just five minutes of journaling each day. Use this time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, helping to clear your mind and gain perspective. Gradually increase the time as it becomes a part of your routine.

3. Practice Breathing Exercises

Incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine. A simple 4-7-8 breathing technique can help calm your nervous system and reduce stress. Practice this for a few minutes each day to experience the benefits.

4. Establish a Routine

Create a morning and evening routine that includes activities that nurture your well-being. These routines can provide stability and comfort, whether it's enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise or spending a few minutes reflecting before bed.

5. Spend Time in Nature

Make it a point to spend time outdoors regularly. Whether it's a short walk in a local park or a hike in the mountains, naturNatureprovide a soothing escape and a chance to reconnect with yourself.


Laurie's journey is a powerful reminder that self-care is not selfish but essential. By taking care of herself, Laurie was able to support her daughter better and navigate the challenging path of teen mental health. Her story offers hope and practical advice for caregivers facing similar struggles. Remember, it's okay to seek help and take time for yourself. Doing so can provide the best support for your loved ones.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, don't hesitate to reach out for support. You are not alone.


1. What is the 4-7-8 breathing technique?

The 4-7-8 technique involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. It helps calm the nervous system and reduce stress.

2. How can I start journaling if I've never done it before?

Start with just five minutes a day. Write about anything on your mind, your feelings, or reflections on your day. Gradually increase the time as it becomes a habit.

3. Why is having a crisis plan essential?

A crisis plan provides immediate steps and contacts in case of a mental health emergency, ensuring you have a clear path to follow when you might not be thinking clearly.

4. What are some benefits of spending time in nature? Nature can reduce stress, improve mood, and provide peace and rejuvenation. It's a great way to recharge and connect with yourself.

5. How can I establish a self-care routine?

Start small with activities you enjoy. Incorporate them into your morning or evening routine, gradually building a habit that supports your well-being.