Why Self-Care is Essential to Parenting

written by  posted on ChildMind

Parents who are the main caregivers for kids with special needs can be at risk for burnout, especially if they don’t have enough support themselves. Symptoms of burnout include anxiety, depression, feeling tired and feeling cut off from other people.

Caring for a child with a developmental or mental health disorder can put a big strain on your marriage or relationship. There can be also be physical risks from the constant stress of taking care of a special needs child. Physical risks from constant stress include things like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

To avoid burnout, it’s important for parents to take care of their own needs. That includes getting enough sleep and exercise, drinking enough water and spending time away from your child. Parents sometimes feel like they have to do everything by themselves, but getting help from other people is crucial. Support groups, spending time with friends and even just making time for fun activities on your own can all help.

If you don’t have family you can rely on or money to hire babysitters, something called “respite care” can help. Respite care provides temporary help so you can take a break from constant caregiving.