5 Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While Attending to Ailing Parents

Take care of your mental health
Take care of your mental health

How do you take care of  YOUR mental health when attending to ailing parents takes a toll on you?

Age is just a number!

You hear this adage many times. Age is indeed just a number when we refer to enjoying life. But, it is not when we see our aged parents struggle with age-related illnesses.

Situations get out of our control at times. We feel overwhelmed with work commitments along with their health concerns. It is taxing on our body as well as our mind. A healthy mind could overcome these hurdles with ease. Follow these 5 simple but effective steps to cater to your mental health during times like these.

Table of Contents

Go for an Early Morning Walk

Take Care of Your Mental Health
Early Morning Walk, Barefoot on Green Grass

Managing personal and professional fronts becomes difficult when caring for someone close during an illness. The difficulty piles on when they are someone elder to you. You can not scold them like a child, you see.

Yet, you need to vent your frustration and worries. Why not channel it to something beneficial? Take a quick stroll in the morning, even if it is for 15 minutes. Breathing the morning freshness has proven to decrease our stress levels along with increasing our metabolism. A healthy metabolism is key to elevated efficiency.

Do you know what works even better?

Walking barefoot on misty grass works wonders for a drained body, heart, and mind. It soothes your tired eyes too!

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal handy is one of the easiest hacks to beat depression around illness. It is hard to be grateful when life is throwing lemons at you. And as the theorem of paradox goes, it is the time you need the sense of gratitude the most.

Life may be hard at some point and for some time; yet we experience good moments too.

“When the future is not clear take strength from the past and the good memories it brings.”- Author Unknown

These lines are my strength pillar during tough times like my parent’s deteriorating health. I revisit those blessed moments I have spent with them and feel rejuvenated. To ease this, I keep a gratitude journal. My journal is a constant reminder of good things and times. It is also a confirmation that those moments of happiness will be back soon after facing mild hiccups.

If you would like to throw another “I don’t have time to write for 15 minutes” please do. I would love to bring your attention to Voice notes. When everything else is digital, why should your gratitude journal lag?


Take Care of Your Mental Health
Meditation Improves Focus

You will have to back me up on this one. Meditate!

No. Allow me to try and change your mind. According to a study by Harvard, meditation strengthens the brain’s focusing power and shed off any negative emotions.

During distress such as ailing parents, our mind tends to focus on the negative sequence of our lives. This tendency doubles up our pain. Meditation, when practiced consistently, strengthens our brain areas responsible for memory, attention, and self-mindfulness.

When dealing with multiple things under emotional distress, meditation helps you stay focussed on your objectives. This is my hack for increased productivity. 15 minutes of daily practice helps me save hours of aimless wandering in my thought-land when all situations are going south.

So, you already knew that. The problem is how to find those 15 minutes amongst the pile of work.

Tip of the day: I steal those 15 minutes during the night, just before sleeping. That is truly my “me time” and I am already tired. I don’t like to go to bed under stress and lose more sleep. Meditation helps me out with handling my stress as well as a good night’s sleep. Also, I find the customized programs of Body Mind Alliance to be beneficial at tough times.

Talk About Your Feelings to a Friend

Talk to a Friend About Your Anxiety
Talk to a Friend About Your Anxiety

When looking after your aged parents struggling with their health, you may feel helpless at times. Talking about your feelings to a dear friend during hard times is always recommended.

Not because they will tell stupid problems of their own to take your mind off your own. But because they will understand your place and anxiety. With the same age group, almost each of our friends has to go through the trauma of caring for ailing parents.

Talk to them, whenever you can steal a bundle of 5-10 minutes. Friends are our unpaid therapists; probably great ones too.

Eat Healthy food

During trying times, you need two things the most. The first is a sound mind and the second is a strong body. The answer to both lies in eating healthy food.

When you consume a whole meal, you are preparing a stronger body to deal with the increased workload. Additionally, you are providing necessary happy hormones to the body to deal with excessive stress.

There is a relatively new field of science called nutritional psychiatry. It studies the correlation between diet, gut health, and mood. It is observed that the right mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins savored with some colorful, natural ingredients is capable of providing you with a gush of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine; the happy hormones.

We often rely on ‘comfort food’ like processed and artificially sweetened items. They tend to give us an instant boost while prolonging our depressive state at a later stage. So, healthy food should be preferred over comfort food during such times.


Tough times do not last; tough people do!

Taking care of ailing parents puts a lot of pressure on our mental health. Seeing those we love in a diseased state hurts our sentiments as well as our spirits. It is important to maintain sound mental health during these times. If we could steal a few minutes from our busy schedule, we could follow simple activities to relax and destress.

A healthy mind goes much farther than a healthy body alone.

To keep reading awesome stuff related to every empowered women, click here!


  1. Akanksha

    Lived reading..mind refreshing ..

  2. Shruti

    Taking care of own mental health is important no matter what the condition is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *