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Determining Your Fatigue Level as the Parent of a Special Needs Kid and Creating a Self-Care Plan

If you’re a parent of one of the 3+ million children who have some kind of disability, fatigue may be an all too familiar feeling. While experiencing it occasionally is normal for all parents, taking action is a must when it starts to impact your life negatively.

Often, you can determine if your fatigue is problematic with some self-reflection. Then, you can create a functional plan for addressing the matter. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s what you need to know.


Reflecting to Determine Your Fatigue Level

Determining your fatigue level as a parent with a special needs child is fairly straightforward. Usually, you can get a solid idea of where you stand by reflecting on a few key points.

Make sure to consider your:

· Parenting satisfaction

· Physical activity capacity

· Sleep quality

· Mental state

When it comes to your mental state, you want to reflect on a few points. Along with symptoms of depression or anxiety, consider if you’re experiencing abnormal mood swings, feelings of resentment, short-temperedness, or the sensation that you’re trapped, as those could all be signs and symptoms of parental burnout.


Creating an Effective Self-Care Plan

In most cases, an effective self-care plan is twofold. First, you need to address your situation as it stands today. Second, you want to look for long-term options that set you up for success not just as a parent but in life in general.

Here’s a look at how to address both points, as well as one special consideration.


Short-Term Self-Care

Short-term self-care options are your best bet when you need a quick pick-me-up. If you are pressed for time, look for options that only take a few minutes to complete. For example, you could try a three-minute body scan meditation or take five minutes to enjoy your favorite cup of tea.

Aromatherapy is also a quick option. Lavender is popular for relaxation, though there are other calming scents you could try as well. Certain essential oils may also boost energy, acting as a quick way to get some pep back in your step.


Long-Term Self-Care

When it comes to long-term self-care, you mainly want to find ways to pursue your personal goals. If you focus too much of your energy on childrearing and neglect your ambitions, you may lose your sense of self. This type of identity crisis can be harmful, altering your feelings of self-worth and uniqueness as an individual.

Thankfully, finding ways to pursue your goals can correct the issue. For example, if you’ve dreamed of launching a business, start working toward that target. Learn about what it takes to get going, including exploring various business structures.

Going back to college to get your degree is another solid choice. With an online degree from an accredited school, you can learn at your own pace, allowing it to fit into your busy schedule.

When you’re ready to pursue a new career, upgrade your resume by using a resume builder. This tool gives you a variety of templates to choose from which can be modified to add your own text, font, and images.


A Special Consideration

When you create a self-care plan, you need to make sure that it is genuinely healthy. First, recognize that self-care isn’t a substitute for medical care. Fatigue can be a symptom of many mental and physical conditions. As a result, you should contact your doctor if your fatigue persists.

Additionally, make sure that you’re balancing self-care with your responsibilities. Overburdening your support system in the name of self-care can harm relationships. Similarly, neglecting your duties to partake in a self-care activity comes with consequences.

Ideally, self-care should be part of a broader, balanced equation. That way, you can restore your energy levels without undesired negative effects.


Cedarbrook Early Learning Center provides the highest level of childcare and education in a safe and inspiring environment. Call (360) 379-2271 to schedule a tour!



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