It certainly feels unique, but it’s not in the grand scheme of things. If you are looking after a child with special needs, or anybody in your family requires a bit more help, your family unit can be solidified and improved as a result. But, in making sure that you put in extra work to be a stronger and more resilient parent, the signs of strain can show up. There are going to be times when looking after someone who requires a lot more help can be too much. This becomes more apparent as you get older, but there are solutions in making sure that your loved one is sufficiently looked after, but you don’t feel weakened as a result…
There’s No Shame In Professional Help
If you’re a parent of a special needs child, you can, naturally, feel overprotective. This can have many negative effects on you after a while. And this need to look after them 24/7 begins to wear you down. You need time away, so you can decompress and rejuvenate yourself. There are many options now, from respite care overnight, to day centers. But there’s no shame in having that little bit extra help if you need a break. You can’t expect to think that you can do for years on end without any respite yourself. And there is so much professional assistance out there, that you should take advantage of this. This doesn’t mean that you’re admitting yourself as a failure, and you will do a better job as a parent if you rest and recalibrate.
Are You Keeping Your Energy Up?
You spend so much time focusing on the needs of someone else, you might completely neglect your own. It’s a very obvious thing to state, but if you’re not fueling yourself properly, with diet, exercise, and vitamins and minerals etc, you might feel that you are running on empty a lot of the time. Not only this, but it’s not just a physical energy you need to replenish. The mental energy to look after someone with special needs is completely draining. So this means you need to find things that help your frame of mind. Depression and anxiety are so common in caregivers, but so many feel that they don’t have the time in which to seek help for themselves. It doesn’t have to be going to a counselor, it can be taking the opportunity to have a proper night’s rest, or sitting down for 10 minutes, and doing some deep breathing. This has been shown to have a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system, which in turn, has a benefit on every aspect of the human body, including the brain.
Do You Have Emotional Support?
If you don’t like the idea of cuddly hippy type practices, then a problem shared is a problem halved. Having emotional support is important for any caregiver. It gives you the opportunity to unload in an emotional sense, which helps you to talk through your problems, and turn these problems into logical solutions. Being a carer can be very isolating, even if you are surrounded by people. You might feel you’re on your own, but when caring for someone with special needs becomes too much, it’s important to know that there is a solution out there for you.