Fatigue: A Self-Care Assessment for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Parents of children with disabilities face many tough decisions and challenges in their lives. One of the most important factors for parents to address is their level of fatigue, which directly impacts parenting. Parents need to consider how their fatigue levels affect daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, quality time with family members, organizing activities, and taking care of themselves. Dr. Shemya Vaughn shares some questions to ask yourself to see if you need to change your self-care routine.
How’s Your Sleep Quality?
Parents of children with disabilities may have a more difficult time sleeping. There may be frequent disruptions, such as a child who doesn’t want to sleep in their bed or wakes up frequently throughout the night. Also, there may be medical needs that require medication or treatments that interfere with sleep.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver to watch the children while you get a full night’s sleep. Even applying for a few nights a month of respite care can effectively rejuvenate your mind and body.
Do You Get Enough Physical Fitness?
It’s essential to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine to stay healthy. Going for a walk or run after dinner, doing household chores like mowing the lawn or cooking, and playing with your kids are all great ways to get in some exercise. Other ways to get more movement in your day include taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and if you take the bus, get off a block or two before your destination to get some more steps in.
Also, if your neighborhood has a high Walk Score, be sure to take advantage of it. If you live in a neighborhood where stores and restaurants are within walking distance, you are more likely to walk to these destinations rather than drive. This increased activity can lead to weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improved mental health. In addition, if your neighborhood is safe and well-lit, you may be more likely to walk outside even when it is dark or cold outside. Walking is a low-impact exercise that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels — and it’s free.
Does Your Partner Help with Caregiving Tasks?
Self-care involves maintaining healthy relationships. Verywell Health explains that parents should communicate with their partners and ensure they take on an equal amount of parenting responsibilities. Parents should make sure they are not only attending to their own needs but their partner’s well-being as well.
Are You Experiencing Depression and Anxiety?
Many parents of children with disabilities experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, notes Psychology Today. These symptoms include difficulty sleeping, changes in eating habits, weight gain or loss, irritability, and mood swings. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about seeking support from a licensed therapist.
You can also change your home to reduce anxiousness and depression, such as reducing clutter to free up more space and improve productivity. You can also bring in some Mother Nature with a few houseplants. Another minor adjustment is changing your lighting. Dimming lights and placing lamps in certain house areas can reduce anxiety and help you sleep more easily.
Do You Feel Social Isolation?
Sometimes parents of children with disabilities feel isolated in their daily lives. They may experience problems in their relationships with family members and friends, contributing to feelings of loneliness. There are many ways to address these issues, such as finding a caregiver support group or joining an online parent community.
Are You Achieving Your Goals?
Pursuing your goals will help maintain your motivation and drive. If your current job has you feeling stressed and unfulfilled, look for a more rewarding position. You can update your resume by utilizing resume templates, which can be tailored to add your own design elements, images, and photos.
If you need more education to achieve your goals, going back to school and earning a degree online is an excellent option. Online learning has exploded in recent years, and parents can enroll in accredited college courses and receive all the same benefits of on-campus education.
Self-Care for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Self-care is vital for parenting children with disabilities. Slight changes, such as more exercise, better sleep, and meeting goals, can reduce stress and improve your overall life quality.
Dr. Shemya Vaughn can help provide you with the tools and skills necessary to live the life you’ve always wanted. Get in touch today by calling (916) 835-2485.
Image via Pexels
Gwen Payne is a stay-at-home mom with an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years, she has mastered raising her two daughters while side hustling to success through small ventures based on her passions — from dog walking to writing to eCommerce. With Invisiblemoms.com she hopes to show other stay-at-home parents how they can achieve their business-owning dreams.
Photo via Pexels
Great Artistic Hobbies For Children With Learning Disabilities
By Tanya Lee
Many parents find that encouraging their children with learning disabilities to focus on their strengths in areas where they succeed is a great way to develop a little one’s confidence. Having a hobby is especially effective in allowing a child to channel their emotions and embrace their creativity — all while building valuable skills that will help them in the classroom. Here are a few artistic hobbies that may help your child with learning disabilities.
Research has shown that some learning disabilities are associated with an increase in creativity and connective thinking, which are excellent skills for drawing.
6 Benefits of Drawing Time for Children
8 Free Virtual Drawing Classes to Engage Kids’ Creativity
The fun thing about crafts is that they can be anything the child’s mind can create. Crafts can be cutting out photos in magazines and making collages, or creating fun little knickknacks or decorations for the house.
Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Kids
Easy Craft Ideas Using Stuff You Already Have at Home
12 Tips for Setting up a Hobby and Craft Room
Some researchers suggest that engaging in artistic creations like painting can decrease feelings of anxiety and offer a channel to increase positive emotions. Painting can be easier than drawing, and the many kinds of paint offer a wide variety of mediums. Your child does not have to do just watercolor; introduce them to some child-friendly paint.
Benefits of Painting for Children
Famous Artworks your Child Should Know
Best Online Art Programs Children Can Take at Home
Make It a Business
Has your child started creating artwork that people want to buy? Turn their masterpieces into a small business! It’s easier than you might think.
The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Financing
The 16 Best Platforms to Sell Art Online
Having a hobby encourages positive physical and psychological health, especially for children with learning disabilities, so experiment to see what works for your child. You may even consider earning a master’s in special education online, which can help you parent at home and provide a new career option. Remember that some hobbies will be easier to stick to than others, so be patient as you both work together to figure out your little one’s true passion.