Addressing Fatigue for Parents With Special Needs Children

If you're the parent of a special needs child, you know all too well how much physical and emotional energy it takes to do even the simplest tasks. It's easy to become fatigued when you spend hours each day with all of your work and family responsibilities. And while being busy is normal when raising children, having many tasks can leave you feeling exhausted and anxious — that's when you need to step back and assess your stress levels and self-care behaviors. 

Assessing Yourself

Are you feeling tired or run down? Do you have a lowered threshold for dealing with stress? Do you get overwhelmed easily or feel that there are just too many things to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then self-care is important. Assess yourself by recording how often during a week you feel tired or exhausted.

Assessing Your Home Environment

The next step is to take an honest look at your environment. Is it safe? Secure? Clean? Does it promote healthy eating habits, adequate exercise, good sleep habits, and positive social interactions? If not, why not? These are just a few questions to ask yourself as you consider how your home environment may be contributing to your level of anxiety or fatigue.

Creating Your Treatment Plan

Be kind to yourself. Spend a few minutes every day meditating, doing yoga, or engaging in some other calming activity that helps reduce stress. Spending time with friends, listening to music, taking a long bath — all these things can help you feel better too. And don't forget: taking time for yourself is an important way to prepare you to care for your children.

Redecorating to Promote Wellness and Self Care

When considering changes to your home, it's important to think about ways that you can improve wellness while still giving your child a space they feel comfortable living in. A couple of simple changes can have an impact: consider removing clutter and any large items like tables, placing soft carpets throughout rooms for comfort, adding cushions and pillows where possible, and making use of calming colors and houseplants to promote peace and wellness.

Pursuing Personal Goals

Pursuing a degree online can help you build on your professional skills and achieve personal goals. Whether you're juggling a busy schedule or just pursuing something new, college-level coursework is an excellent addition to your resume. Online programs are also accessible — if you have family obligations, it's possible to study at your own pace from anywhere with a reliable internet connection.

Starting a Business

Many people want to start their own businesses. One of the most popular ways to do so is by forming a limited liability company (LLC). While there are many benefits to LLCs — including some tax benefits that can save you money — starting one requires specific steps, and each state has its own requirements. So be sure to check with your state before you go ahead.

Addressing Health Issues

Addressing health issues such as anxiety and depression is important for all parents, but it may be particularly important if you're a parent caring for children with special needs. In addition to self-care, you may also benefit from professional treatment from a psychiatrist or therapist, since early prevention can stop problems from becoming serious down the line.

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