By: Charlene Roth
When talking about parental fatigue, two key differences must be taken into account. First, understand that fatigue is not simply “being tired.” Rather, fatigue is a constant state of being, a constant, and cannot be simply overcome with a night’s rest. Second, fatigue in parents with children who are developing normally is different from the fatigue experienced by parents who are raising a child with special needs.
This is especially true of parents whose child has been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Those children’s behaviors, such as difficulty with socializing, communicating, repetitive movements, and intellectual and language delays, present real challenges to parents. The fatigue and the burnout is real and you’ll see it in things like, no longer socializing, not making plans, or canceling when you do. Being constantly sick and run down. Giving up on self-care, and struggling to sleep, despite being exhausted.
Today, we explore some of the things you might try doing to alleviate some of that fatigue.
De-Stressing Your Home
A source of stress you can definitely remove is literally all around you, your home environment. It’s too easy for clutter to overtake your space. It happens so gradually that we don’t see it anymore, but it’s there and the feeling of chaos it brings to our psyche is real. Use a day or weekend to begin throwing away, or donating anything you’re no longer using. Once you start looking at your home with an eye to what can easily be gotten rid of without being missed, it won’t take long before you’ve uncluttered your home and your feelings of being overwhelmed by it all.
Uncomplicating Your Business
Like many parents with a special needs child, you may find working for yourself from home the most practical option. There are things you can do to simplify that as well. Use online resources for a lot of things you may be hiring outside vendors to do for you.
For instance, with the right tools, you can design your ownbusiness cards and invoices online. You can also conduct most of your marketing via social media, allowing you to reach a massive audience of potential customers. And if you need to change your business structure, you can hire a formation service to form an LLC in Maryland.
A Change of Scenery
Sometimes everyone just needs to get away from it all. Vacations that involve the outdoors mean less stress for everyone since many times children with ASDs can become anxious when in different indoor settings. National parks are a great option for exercise and fresh air.
In between home de-stressing and ball games, don’t forget there are things you can do every day—small things. Remember to breathe. Go outside when the sun is out, or even at night to gaze at the stars. Hang a birdfeeder with a window view and just delight in the beauty of nature. Buy some headphones, even a cheap set will do, and put on some relaxing music. Keep a journal or buy a book of inspirational quotes. It sounds cheesy but they exist for a reason – they help you find perspective.
Remember, you’re not alone. If there’s one thing you may find helpful is that there are thousands of parents learning to live with, cope with, and look for the joy in raising their child with special needs.
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