A R T I C L E 1 6 : S E F L - C A R E F O R P A R E N T S
AUTISM EDGE SERIES I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
Welcome back to autism Edge. In this week’s article we will be discussing how important it is for the parents of an autistic child to self-care. How vital it is for parents to take the time to look after themselves and how that will impact the household. It is normal to move into a space where you have to care for your child. Give support and guidance when needed. Parents with a child with autism are strong and motivated.
We can also say that it does come with struggles and challenges. Therefore it is important to take “me” time. Most of us are focused on our children’s needs and stop looking after our own health. Stress is part of life and with a child with autism, stress are even higher. We also know that with having a child with autism, expenses goes up like for varies therapies, diet, school and medication to name a few.
So we have thought about ways in which parents can self-care without have to spend too much. Almost lie a low cost self-care intervention. I know you might be thinking by now, how and where will I get the time to “self-Care” with children around. Well it does not have to be for hours or days. A quick stop and pause moment might be all you need. Here we go, ways in which you can self-care with a child with autism in the house.
We know that schedule and routine is key for a household, so schedule a time and day in the already set routine for yourself. All about balance and making it a priority. Yes, you matter and your needs can be included into the routine.
Do some yoga or exercise, here it is you might think. I understand, I am saying you can do yoga for 10-15 minutes with some guided music. The exercise can also be short. It is about taking the time to focus on something other the work and home.
Have a support system. This point is super important. Parents with any type of children in the house must have a support system of some sorts. Family, friends, care givers, advisors or any other. It important to be able to trust and be in a mindset that it is fine to have someone helping.
Take a walk in the park, beach, town, anywhere where you can think and have your thoughts you need.
Except your beautiful life and treasure the special moments. Children with autism have special gifts and the bonding moment’s needs to be remembered and kept close to heart.
Try something new once in a while. If it is something easy and small like new food, or new restaurant, new outdoor activity with your partner or an afternoon away doing a wine tour or fudge testing tour. It can be whatever you can think of. Enjoy the few hours together.
Listen to music or watch a movie from beginning to end. (Try to) The last point is a sacred type of one that I suggest all parents do. Your bedroom must be changed and styled in a way that it can become your retreat. A place to be calm and stress free.
There you have it. A few ways in which you can self-care as a parent. You can think of other ways in which you can self care as long as you make it a priority in the routine and schedule. Make time and have your partner do the same with the understanding that the
time and day you chose is yours and visa versa.
Play with the ideas on what you can do as a couple once a month or once every two months.
Keep working on it and enjoy each other during the craziness of life.
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