8 Special Needs Parent Self Care Tips
This is why ‘me’ time is so important for parents of children with special needs, plus ideas for self-care.
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Schedule your “me” time.
Make sure any special time for yourself—whether it’s working out, having lunch with friends, or getting a manicure—is in your calendar or it will likely get pushed aside to take care of someone else’s needs.
Join a support group.
Farmer suggests finding a support group for parents of children with special needs that will serve as a safe space to vent, share ideas, mourn, share successes and failures, and more. “It’s a forum where you can be totally honest and not be judged,” she says. “These parents will ‘get’ you in a way no other set of parents will.
Just say no.
This can be one of the hardest things to do, but it’s an absolute necessity for your overall well-being. Creating boundaries and learning to say no also helps to bring your goals into sharper focus, Humphrey notes.
See a professional for help (if needed).
If you are feeling overwhelmed to the point of depression, have thoughts of self-harm, or feel anger with your child or yourself, find a professional who understands your situation and can give you tools for making life easier at home. If you aren’t functioning well mentally, it’s tough to parent a child with special needs, Farmer points out.
Be kind to yourself.
Yes, the situation can be hard, but you are doing it. Give yourself some credit, some self-compassion, and some kindness!