Self-Care for Autism Parents: 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress
Any parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) spends huge amounts of time and energy on their child’s behalf. Dealing with sudden meltdowns, potty training issues, countless therapy sessions and more can be incredibly stressful. It can drain the parent both physically and emotionally.
While it is important to help the child overcome challenges, it is equally important that parents get the support they need. Taking care of oneself is not an act of selfishness – it is a necessity. After all, being physically and emotionally strong allows the parent to be their best for their child in need.
Being a parent to an autistic child would mean to spend a lot of time and energy on behalf of your child and dealing with situations such as anger, sudden meltdowns, changes in mood and number of therapy sessions. All of this may seem to be stressful and can drain the individual both physically as well as mentally. Since as a child they have to overcome few of the challenges, similarly as a parent you would also have to get the support you desired. Hence it is not called selfishness if it means to take care of oneself. Only if you take care of yourself would you be better able to take care of your child and their needs.
- Exercise and maintain physical activity: Walking or carrying out certain exercises is known to trigger endorphins which is a brain chemical that helps in reducing pain. Endorphins are known to act as sedatives. Try to plan out your day so that you can include both exercise as well as having nutritious healthy meal.
- Do not forget about yourself in all the hustle: Many a times, as parents one tends to neglect themselves as well as their needs in all the hustle behind running after kids. But in case of an autistic child, the risk of neglecting self is always higher. Try to practice self-care and see what transformation it would bring, try to practice few of the strategies of emotional care, physical care, and spiritual care.
- Ensure to take rest and shower: A nap no matter if it is short, is known to work wonders for our body. It can be for a short duration or a longer one. Sleep is very important for our overall health of the body. It provides ample time to the brain to get recharged and take on another day. Also taking a nice and hot shower can help to relax the muscles and limbs which have been overworking day and night.
- Try to listen to music or read a book: Listening to soft soothing music is another way one can look to relax and calm their mind which can lead to reducing stress. Music is known to have an ability to quickly get the mood shifted from negative to positive thoughts. Another good way of relaxing mind is to take up a book which you love to read. These are considered to be few of the healthy methods to escape from the daily stressors of life.
- Go for a massage: Massage is another method which is known to bring about reduction in stress as well as tension. Massage is known to bring the body to a state of relaxation and would also help you to unwind from the tiring day. You can opt for a professional one or just ask a family member or close friend to provide a quick rub to your muscles. It helps in relieving migraines and any kind of pain which are also associated with stress.