5 Self-Care Tips Parents of Special Needs Children Need to Hear

December 6, 2019 | In: Uncategorized

As parents, we often put our children’s needs before our own. We forgo showers, food, and sometimes even sleep to ensure our kids are taken care of. And this rings even truer for those with children on the spectrum. As our focus goes towards maintaining a sensory-safe routine for our children, built-up stress and fatigue will eventually cause us to crash.

We’re here to remind you of this important fact: self-care is not selfish. We must first take care of ourselves if we want to provide the best care for our children. Best explained through the “oxygen mask metaphor”, we must first put on our own oxygen masks before turning to help our children.

With this in mind, here are five easy self-care tips you can add to your routine to help you be the best parent to your kids:

1. Take five in the morning.

Before you start your day, take an extra five minutes to center yourself and gather your thoughts. Meditate and focus on things you want to do today, whether it be forming a grocery list or deciding what to wear. By taking this extra time, you will have one less thing to worry about as you go throughout your day. Apps such as The Mindfulness App or Headspace are easy and accessible guided meditations that can add quality to your day.

2. Take advantage of your child-free breaks.

Do the things you enjoy during the times when your kids are occupied – whether they are at school, at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, or asleep. Unwind from a long day with a glass of wine. Or relax with a bubble bath. Or even take a mid-day nap to reenergize for the rest of your day!

3. Seek balance.

Make sure to maintain your social life by staying in touch with friends. It’s so easy to get lost in your kids’ lives that you stop responding to your friends. But if you let them, your friends can become your support system, ready to help out. So, take the time to meet up with them and catch them up on all of the things going on in your life. If you need one, don’t be scared to hire a babysitter! You can even create a memo detailing your kids’ schedules – and emergency contact info – to give you peace of mind and help them.

Don’t want to hire a babysitter? Bring them to We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, an indoor playground for children of ALL abilities. Our specially trained staff and sensory-safe gym equipment will take care of your children so you can get the break you deserve. Our locations offer Break Time & Respite services.

4. Nourish Your Body.

Eat healthily and exercise regularly. You may often skip meals and not exercise because you don’t have time. But, by taking care of your body, you are improving your health and increasing your body’s endurance so you can better keep up with your kids. There are hundreds of free online exercises that you can try from the comfort of your living room!

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Ask for help with you need help. Your family and friends want to help you so take advantage. Go one step further and join an Autism support group. the resources they provide will go a long way in making your life easier. If you don’t know where to start, We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is a great place to meet fellow parents of children with special needs. You can even start your own support group!

If you feel overwhelmed after reading these tips, don’t feel the need to incorporate these all at once. Slow and steady wins the race, so take your time. You can even choose which ones are the easiest for you. Just make sure to remember this: You deserve the time to take care of yourself. Then and only then are you able to help your children to the fullest!