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Posted 08/22/2022 in Ayurveda

Parents of children with special needs can manage fatigue with this Guide

Parents of children with special needs can manage fatigue with this Guide

Guest post by Brad Krause and Photo via Pexels

This article provides a guide for parents of special needs children to use in assessing their fatigue levels, as well as tips on how to treat the causes.

Measuring parental fatigue can be a big process, but it can help provide an understanding of which areas of your lifestyle need to change. Not only will this help you feel better, but it will also give you the tools you need to be the best parent you can be for your child. Whether you’d like to find the time and energy to pursue a few personal goals or learn to practice self-care in order to reduce stress and anxiety, assessing your fatigue levels so you can focus on improving symptoms can be extremely beneficial. 

It can be helpful to begin by thinking about a few key factors, such as:

  • How well do you sleep each night?

  • Do you have support from friends and family?

  • How time-consuming is your role as a caregiver?

  • Does your child have behavioral issues that require attention?

Considering these factors when assessing your fatigue levels will allow you to create a plan of action so you can make informed decisions about both your child’s care and your own. If you need resources for managing your family’s health, take a look at the services available at Ayurveda Living and connect with professionals who can provide quality care. 

Here are a few things to think about when you’re ready to make lifestyle changes to alleviate caregiver fatigue:

Get away

During a regular work week, it can be hard to find time to yourself while handling family responsibilities and work demands. However, booking a little vacation so you can relax and recharge can help you banish stress and anxiety while allowing you to recharge so you can overcome feelings of burnout. 

Consider taking a weekend trip to Houston, where you might take in a show in the Theater District or head to a baseball game. Grab a deal on Astros tickets by utilizing a site that provides discounts and allows you to choose the seat you want based on its rating, the date of the game, and the price range you want. Some online ticket brokers even allow you to see a virtual, 360-degree view of the field from the seat before you book it.

Prioritize better sleep

If you can’t take the time to get away right now, you can make it a priority to get a better quality and quantity of sleep. This can be tricky if your child has sleep issues or needs assistance throughout the night, so take your specific needs into consideration; how many hours of solid sleep do you get per night? Would it help to rearrange your schedule so you can get to bed earlier? 

You can also make changes to your rest environment–such as investing in a quality mattress and bedding, lowering the room temperature, painting the walls a soothing color, and removing devices from the bedroom–that will help you relax and prepare your mind and body for rest.

Give yourself the gift of self-care

While better sleep is one form of self-care, it’s important to realize that doing something to improve your mood or physical/mental health is not a selfish act and that you can utilize more than one form of self-care in order to combat fatigue; you can even learn methods to stay calm and banish stress no matter where you are. 

Making changes to your diet or exercise routine or taking up a hobby are two great ways to practice self-care, but you don’t have to choose one of those. Think about your schedule and which methods make the most sense for you. The more you can learn to focus on yourself now and then, the easier it will be for you to push away those feelings of fatigue and burnout when they start to show up.

Take a chance

As the parent of a child with special needs, it’s important to do things just for yourself that aren’t necessarily in the name of self-care, but rather self-improvement. What are your goals outside of your family? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? It’s easier than ever these days to start a business since there are tons of online resources and free tools available; if you have a great idea, consider becoming your own boss and working out of your home on your own time. You might become a freelancer, or start selling handmade items. 

Not quite ready for that road? Think about going back to school to pursue a degree in a field you’re interested in, or to tackle an advanced degree. With so many online programs available, you can work from the comfort of your home when your schedule allows.

Get organized

Many children who are living with special needs require several doctor’s appointments each year, which typically include a lot of paperwork, wrangling with the insurance company, and picking up prescriptions. If you are the primary caregiver and handle all of these tasks, it’s essential to get organized in order to reduce the burden on your shoulders and eliminate stress. 

Talk to your child’s healthcare provider to find out if they use an app to document appointments, medication, and other medical info; this will help you keep everything in one place, and some apps even allow you to message your doctor directly when you have a question. You can also look for your own apps to download. 

Weigh the cons

Finally, it’s important to consider the downsides that can come with assessing and treating caregiver fatigue. You may find yourself going in the complete opposite direction and laying the burden at your spouse’s feet, or you may realize that you’ve been applying self-care methods to remedy legitimate mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. Thinking about these possible outcomes will help you avoid problems down the road so you can focus on feeling better while giving your child the attention he needs.

Applying various treatment methods to your fatigue can be overwhelming if you don’t start slowly, so assess your most pressing needs first and move on from there. Keep communication open with family and friends so you’ll have support during this time, as well.

Have a question for the pros at Ayurveda Living? Reach out via the contact form.

Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.

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