I have heard from parents who have special needs children. They feel the burnout, the stress, the overwork, and the fear of being a bad mother or deemed uncaring. This is very far from the truth. Caring for children can be the most rewarding and stressful job in the world. It takes your time, energy, and mental ability to stay on top of things involving children. With all the activities and responsibilities a child requires, what can a person do to ward off burnout?
A few ideas could be; a walk in the park, an extra-long bubble bath, an adult coloring book, a yoga or exercise class, or shopping. These may seem silly, but it can do wonders for avoiding burnout. One question that comes up a lot is, how do you put these in your busy schedule?
Looking at your day and carving out a few minutes may be one answer. Asking for help from family or friends can be another. Some of the parents I know receive respite care or use a crisis nursery. Others take time in the evening. No one can tell you how to organize your day; however, looked at your daily schedule might be the beginning of developing self-care.
Scheduling time for your self-daily or weekly may be challenging at first, but once you get in the routine you will guard that time as something precious.
Some ideas could be playing music. Music is a great way to bring joy and relaxation. Children love music and may enjoy exercising each morning. Children also enjoy walks where they can stop to window shop, get a special drink, or admire the changing sights.
I understand getting a child dressed, putting them in a stroller, or loading the car can be stressful. Asking for help from older children, family, or friends may be an answer. Packing the car the night before may also help.
Other ideas could be a weekly date night, a movie night or a shopping trip. The list could go on and on. Taking time to write your list is the beginning of self-care being a reality.
When you don’t feel like you have time for self-care that is exactly the time it’s needed! Each person has different needs, desires, and hobbies. You may love cooking, baking, or sewing?
I do not like running, but I love to take walks at any time of the year. I also, enjoy going to events with my grandchildren. I love taking pictures, videos, making movies or developing graphic artwork. Not everyone enjoys these types of activities; however, your self-care or hobby my not interest me. and it does not have to.
As a single mother, I had to learn to find time for myself. I would take a walk in the park, have a movie night, or do some nightly baking. I also enjoyed a quiet time for reading when the kids were in bed.
Again, these may not be appealing to you. One way to find your self-care desire is to make a simple checklist.
Burnout happens when we forget to do self-care. Learning to say no to the demands that intrude on our time can be the first step.
When life, whatever that is, homemaker, parent, employee, is more than you can handle, stress and anxiety begin to grow. Once that takes root negative thoughts begin to fly. Taking time to write down all the thought that goes through your mind for 5 minutes is a simple test to determine if a change is needed. Once you have the thoughts written down review them and put N by negative and P by positive thoughts. This simple test can be done for home, life, relationship, jobs, and personal goals, and help you to make necessary changes.