I write a lot about Autism and how it affects our family. I write about the struggles and the accomplishments as well as offer some tips when I’ve discovered them. My goal is to let you know you are not alone. That taking care of yourself is SO VERY important because your body has a limit and you really don’t want to see what happens when you reach it. The fact is, everyone needs to take ‘self-care’ seriously. Sadly, most of us don’t.
If you have a special needs child, you need to take care of yourself because you are under crazy amounts of stress. But guess what? Parents in general are under a lot of stress! No, it isn’t the same. Those of us with special needs kids will burn out faster. We tend to think our situation will never change and we will be in this season of life forever. It is a huge fear in the Autism community, rooted in the fact that adult services for people with Autism is seriously lacking. But make no mistake, even parents of ‘typical’ kids will burnout if they neglect themselves.
Maybe you are taking care of a disabled spouse or even your aging parent. Have you ever taken care of a person with Alzheimer’s? Oh, my, goodness. It can be very emotionally exhausting. Again with the stress.
What can we do about it?
Take time for yourself. Read a book, a bath, get away for the weekend, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee alone or with a friend. Relaxation techniques are amazing. Try Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation or even just sitting quietly with a soul-renewing prayer. Add Aromatherapy in or use it on its own. Anything that is focused on YOU is the goal.
Lock yourself in the bathroom for 3 minutes if you must. That’s how I made it through my crazy week last week. And NONE of that stress was due to Autism or The Boy – it was all the other kids and my dad!!