Finding Some Downtime as a Special Needs Caregiver

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Finding Some Downtime as a Special Needs Caregiver

Finding Some Downtime as a Special Needs Caregiver | LA Special Education

As a caregiver for a special needs child, your first thought has long been for the child entrusted to your care. Whether you are a parent or a guardian, you have certainly dedicated thousands of hours of your time along with plenty of mental and physical energy into making sure that this child has what he needs not only to survive but also to thrive in life. However, if you are not taking care of yourself as well, you may just find that your well of compassion and energy is beginning to run dry.

Long-term caregiving can certainly affect your health. Problems may be limited to additional stress when you do not have enough time to relax at the end of the day or may become more concerning if you are failing to take the time to see your doctor regularly. If you realize that you have been neglecting your own health, find some time to take care of yourself. Start with getting up to date with your annual physical, eye appointment, and dental appointment as needed.

Self-Care as Caregivers

Once you have taken care of the basic things needed for your health, schedule some more downtime to do things that can help you feel better mentally. Self-care may be something as simple and cheap as taking a long bubble bath, painting your fingernails, taking a quiet walk, or curling up with a book for an hour.

However, if it has been quite some time since you have dedicated any of your time to your own mental health, you may need to take longer than an hour to get yourself back on track. Consider finding a trusted family member or family friend to care for your child for a day as you go shopping, travel to a remote location for some quiet time, or just get out of the house. If you feel that you need even more time than this or if you do not have anyone who can take over caring for your child, you may want to consider a respite care center where your child can stay for a weekend.

Taking some downtime for yourself can return you to your normal, daily activities with renewed vigor. You may feel excited about getting to spend time with your child again and may have more energy, a better mood, and less overall stress.