It is no secret that parents of special needs children face far more numerous stressors than other parents do. It can be downright exhausting to manage medical appointments, therapy sessions, and playdates along with fighting for educational and legal rights. As the stress piles up, parents can try unwinding in one of the following ways.
Carve out Quiet Time
Every parent needs at least a little bit of quiet time each day during which they can reflect on their lives or even just be still mentally. Some parents may prefer guided meditation sessions while others will find help and hope in their religious exercises. Reading a book, filling out a journal or sitting with a cup of tea and looking out the window can all be successful self-care methods. Parents should feel no shame in asking others to help them by watching their children while they take time for themselves.
Join a Support Group
Numerous support groups exist around the country for parents who want to feel as if they are not all alone in their special needs struggles. In-person groups often meet in community centers, clinics, and churches and give parents a chance to relax away from home while also chatting about their issues. Simply feeling as if one is not alone can give parents the encouragement they need to continue in their daily tasks.
Take Care of One’s Health
When parents get overly stressed, they may feel as if they do not have the time or the energy to take care of their own health. They may skip healthy meals in favor of takeout or fast food, and they may skimp on sleep in order to have more time to get household tasks accomplished. Exercise is another big component of feeling energized. Taking time to eat right and exercise can give the body what it needs to deal with stressors in emotionally healthy ways.
Seek Professional Help
There are some tasks that parents simply cannot handle on their own and some for which they need professional help alongside them. A therapist or counselor can help them talk through problems and concerns. A financial analyst or accountant can help them manage difficult finances for medical care. Additionally, a special needs attorney, such as one from Newman Aaronson Vanaman, can help them manage state litigation, IEPs, trusts, guardianships and more.