How to Remedy Your Fatigue When Caring for Your Special Needs Child
This article explains how the parents of special needs children can identify the roots of their fatigue and implement realistic lifestyle changes.
If you’re raising a child with special needs, their well-being is always your main concern. However, dedicating so much of your time and energy to someone who depends on you can leave you feeling exhausted and fatigued. By connecting with organizations like Autism Vision of Colorado, you can get valuable tips and advice from other parents. Here’s how to balance caring for your child with strategies to support your own mental and physical health.
Assess Your Level of Fatigue
First, it’s important to figure out exactly why you’re feeling fatigued. You can begin by asking yourself a couple of questions to gain insight. For instance, do you feel like you’re getting enough social support? How is the quality of your sleep? Could you be dealing with anxiety or warning signs of depression? How much time do you spend exclusively focused on caregiving? Your solutions will differ depending on the reasons behind your fatigue.
Put Together Your ‘Treatment Plan’
Now, it’s time to start solving these issues. For instance, if you don’t have a strong support system at the moment, KidsHealth recommends talking to your loved ones about your needs and letting them know that you need more help. You can also find out if your health insurance plan covers home health care or respite services. And if you’re struggling to get enough sleep, you may want to talk to your partner about how to divide parenting responsibilities in the evening.
Finally, it never hurts to open up about your feelings. You may benefit from working with a therapist who has experience supporting the parents of children with special needs. To find a qualified therapist, Two Chairs recommends asking your friends and relatives if they have any recommendations.
Avoid Potential Challenges
Of course, potential pitfalls can occur when you try to implement these solutions. For example, if you and your partner are coming up with a new approach to divvying up your parenting responsibilities, it can take some time to get used to your new obligations. Communicate honestly throughout the process so that things remain fair for both of you. And if you’ve started working with a therapist, don’t immediately try to self-diagnose a particular issue. This could lead you to pursue treatment options for a condition that you don’t necessarily have, which means that these solutions won’t be as effective. Most importantly, make sure to consider how your child is adjusting to any changes in your household.
Focus on Your Personal Goals
When you’re struggling with fatigue, and you’re also prioritizing your child’s needs, it can be hard to focus on your own goals, too. But once you’ve taken effective steps to address your fatigue, you may find yourself with enough energy to start pursuing goals that you once pushed to the side.
For example, you might have considered going back to school in the past but worried that you didn’t have enough time. But by choosing an online degree program, you can earn your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university while working on your timeline. This is a great way to move forward in your career.
When you’re the parent of a special needs child, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that they are happy and healthy. It’s important to remember that you do not have to put your own needs on the backburner. With these tips, you’ll be able to care for your child while taking good care of yourself, too.
Want to connect with other families raising children with autism? Get involved with Autism Vision of Colorado! Call today at 719-210-5895 to learn more about our events and programs.
Blog written by Carrie Spencer. Check out her website at thespencersadventures.net!
Photo via Pexels