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How Parents of Special Needs Kids Can Assess Their Fatigue and Embrace Self-Care

Over three million kids in the United States have a disability. If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, childrearing challenges may be part of your daily life. If that’s the case, your fatigue level might rise far faster than you’d expect, putting you at risk of parental burnout.

Fortunately, by developing an effective self-care routine, parents of special needs children can put themselves on a better path. Brought to you by Mommy I’m Here, the following blog post explores what you need to know about assessing your level of fatigue, effective self-care options, and pitfalls to avoid.

How to Assess Your Fatigue

It may seem like assessing your fatigue isn’t something you can easily do. However, you can get a solid idea by asking yourself the right questions. You’ll get a better grip on your current mood and situation, allowing you to spot potential trouble.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some questions you can use to get the ball rolling:

Has there been a change in my parenting effectiveness?

Is my sleep quality reduced?

Am I less physically capable?

Do I have symptoms of depression or anxiety?

If you see declines or changes in areas like those, that can indicate shifts in your mental, physical, or emotional states that could be related to fatigue.

Self-Care Options for Fatigued Parents of Special Needs Children

As a parent of a special needs child, finding time for self-care might be incredibly challenging. If there feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, you may want to start with micro-self-care.

With micro-self-care, you choose self-care activities that only take a few minutes to complete. You could try yoga sun salutations, a three-minute deep breathing exercise, or even having a small piece of your favorite candy. Stashing positive affirmations around the house that you can read might also work wonders.

Taking a self-care vacation could also be a great option, giving you a chance to step away from your role as a parent for a moment and recharge. You could head to Los Angeles and explore the Getty Center to check out some amazing art and gardens or release stress by hopping on thrill-seeking rides at Universal Studios.

If you’re a sports fan, getting tickets to a Dodgers game could also be an excellent choice. You can find discounted tickets online. Plus, by filtering by price, date, and seat rating – as well as checking out the 360° virtual in-seat views you can get from some sites – you can make sure the seats are perfect before committing.

Pursuing your personal goals is also an excellent idea. Whether it’s going back to college, launching a side business, starting a new hobby, or anything else, it lets you focus on yourself from time to time. That, in its own right, can be quite invigorating.

Watching Out for Unwanted Outcomes

There are times when self-care can actually become problematic. For example, if you begin avoiding your parental responsibilities long-term, that’s an issue. Similarly, relying too heavily on your spouse or support system can cause trouble, damaging your relationships.

Assuming that self-care is the best answer may also be a mistake. Many medical conditions have fatigue as a symptom, including numerous ones requiring a physician's treatment. Don’t substitute self-care for a doctor’s appointment if your symptoms persist. Instead, see your medical provider right away to ensure an underlying health issue isn’t to blame.


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