5 Self-Care Tips For Parents of Special Needs Children (repost)

REPOST

(We are reposting this amazing article and providing an additional link that provides even more information about pursuing personal goals and a step-by-step guide to successfully switching careers to show you that it’s never too late to make changes in your life. This was a must-read when originally posted and a must-read now.  Enjoy!)

Parenting can be one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs you will undertake in your lifetime, especially for guardians of special needs children. Although it can be easy to forget about your own needs in the process of caregiving, taking care of yourself is essential for your well-being and that of your kids. For that reason, it’s vital to assess your stress and fatigue and create a plan for addressing them. Walking Through Life As Women shares five tips to help you along the way. 

  1. Determine Your Needs

Some of the essential things to look at are the quality of your sleep and your level of physical activity. Both of these can significantly contribute to how you handle stress and your overall wellness. Then, consider the social support you have. Mayo Clinic explains that social support is vital, and many people lack genuine social networks because of online forms of connection.

You should also be sure that you aren’t forgoing your own health. It can be tempting to set aside any personal health concerns you have, but you don’t have to. With the advent of telemedicine, you can quickly book a single online doctor visit for a low out-of-pocket cost. It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can effectively care for your family.

  1. Enhance Your Home Environment

If your home is cluttered or uninviting, you may not feel that you have a retreat. If you struggle with sleep, try creating a more welcoming bedroom by adding dim lighting and an essential oil diffuser. If you have room, you can also create a meditation space or cozy corner to read and relax in with some houseplants. Consider investing in some cleaning help if possible to take some of the burdens of house care off of yourself. 

  1. Pursue Personal Goals

Make sure you don’t let your own objectives get perpetually pushed to the backburner by writing down your goals and planning the steps to achieve them. Psychology Today notes that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and procrastinate, but by breaking each one down into smaller actions, you can take a slow and steady approach that feels achievable. Thankfully, if one of your goals is obtaining a degree, you can now pursue one online at your own pace. A degree can help create a solid foundation for a new career path, and the abundance of accredited institutions online gives you plenty of options. 

If you want to start your own business, consider forming an LLC, which means less liability and less paperwork for you. This flexibility makes filing taxes more manageable and means better tax advantages. Each state has different regulations around forming an LLC, so make sure you check the rules in your state.

  1. Start a Hobby

If you have a hobby you want to try or one that you’ve neglected, make time to incorporate it into your life. It can be easy to put recreational activity low on the priority list, but giving yourself time to enjoy something you love will help put you in a better space to care for yourself and your children. Some relaxing hobbies to consider are coloring in mindfulness books, journaling, reading, baking, or learning a new language.

  1. Try Therapy

One-on-one therapy or support groups are beneficial for coping with the stresses you encounter as a parent. It can be easy to feel like a burden to others when you need help and ensuring you have a support network that understands your needs can help you handle whatever comes your way. Consider reaching out to a therapist who can address your requirements appropriately.

These can help you find a better balance between caring for others and yourself. Loving you is as important as loving your kids. If you’re in a mentally healthy state, you can better help everyone in your circle live a happier, more fulfilling life.

By Julia Merrill

(Befriendyourdoc.org)

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