How can I take care of myself while my sibling is struggling?

Being a support person is not easy. Remember the conflict that we talked about earlier? It takes a lot of energy in your “emotional tank” and sometimes anyone can run low. So, it is very important that you run on as full a tank as possible. How do you do that?  

Here are a few tips to help you:

1. Remember that you are not a parent. That means you are NOT responsible for your OCD/anxiety sibling. You can help, but at times you will need to follow the guidance of parents and pull back.

2. You can set boundaries or limits with the sufferer about how and when you will be able to help them.

3. You can get plenty of rest, exercise, and healthy food to refill your tank.

4. You can follow a schedule that helps YOU stay on track and not get overwhelmed.

5. Your sibling with OCD/anxiety is not the only kid with problems. You, too, can have your own challenges. You can talk to your parents or a counselor who can provide help.

6. You can join a support group for siblings. Here, you can find a safe place for help, understanding, and making new friends.

7. Finally, you can do one of the most important things, HAVE FUN! This often fills your “emotional tank” the fastest way! Sports, hobbies, and friends are out there to provide lots of enjoyment. Load up on these!