A recent survey reports that 62% of autism parents said they do not actively practice self-care.
I think that’s a mistake. One of the biggest threats to caring for your autistic child effectively is becoming so burned out that you not only hate your life, but the quality of your self- love and preservation begins to decline. And don’t for a second think that you can “hide” your burnout from your family, and especially your child. They will see it, feel it, and be impacted by it.
So, don’t you dare make the mistake of thinking being an autism super mom means having no time for yourself. No, no, no!
Here’s how to work on a self-care strategy.
Beware of the “I’ll do it later” Trap. I get that parenting a child with autism or any child with a disability can be stressful. When I hear parents talk about why they don’t practice self-care it’s usually something along the lines of I don’t have time, I Don’t have any help, my kids attached to my hip, I don’t trust other people with him, I don’t know where to start…I don’t have time. I get all those reasons, some I’ve even used before myself—Just be careful. Not taking some alone time for yourself so you can reenergize your depleting battery can really backfire on you if it makes you a grump at home.
Don’t Apologize for Self-Care Time. Even if you are surrounded by supermoms who don’t believe in doing anything other than being there every second of their child’s life, don’t be at all apologetic for your time off. Think of yourself as the smart and healthy trendsetter autism mom.
Too Broke to Go Anywhere? So What. If you can’t afford a bona fide getaway, don’t use that as an excuse to not do anything. Plan a day that is all about you. Whether its sleeping in and binge watching, making it to an exercise class a few times, or cleaning out your closets, you know there are plenty of things you’d love to “do” if only you had the time. Well, you do have the time. Self-Care time. It’s one of the smartest autism mom moves you can make.
Self-care is amazing and of course I highly recommend it! But I also understand that it does take time…whatever you do, wherever you go, whatever your interpretation of “self-care”; be like NIKE and “just do it! Let’s all be champs for autism, but also champs for self-care too.
Share in the comments how you “do” self-care.
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