Once again, we are honored to publish another great article written by Josh Moore of Diaper Dads. We love his perspective and writing style. Please check out his latest article and leave a comment if you can relate to it or have any Networking tips for the Professional New Moms in our community!
Heal Your Fatigue: 5 Tips for Parents of Children With Disabilities
This article helps parents raising children with special needs to evaluate their own fatigue levels and develop a realistic self-care plan while balancing family responsibilities.
As the parent of a child with a disability, you might be struggling with persistent exhaustion that you just can’t shake. Whether your child has autism, a speech and language disorder, or another diagnosis, it’s not easy to care for your own needs when you’re putting your child first. Here’s how to address your fatigue by improving your diet, achieving your professional goals, and connect with a therapist for yourself.
Focus on Good Nutrition
If you’re reaching for sugary snacks and caffeinated beverages throughout the day, fatigue is inevitable. Instead of choosing foods that only give you a temporary energy boost followed by a crash, like chips and soda, try to include more fruits, nuts, and smoothies in your diet. This will reduce your hunger levels and cravings while giving you sustained energy. Reducing your caffeine intake can lead to better sleep, reduced anxiety, and improved heart health, contributing to overall well-being (visit Caffeine Gurus to learn about the caffeine content of your favorite drinks).
Assess the Causes of Your Fatigue
In order to heal your fatigue, you need to hone in on the specific causes. Consider how much social support levels, the amount of sleep you get, and whether or not you might be dealing with any symptoms of anxiety or depression. Henry Ford Health states that fatigue can also be caused by dehydration, excessive screen time, and a lack of physical activity.
Search for a Therapist
If you suspect that mental health struggles are contributing to your fatigue, it’s time to start working with a therapist. Finding the right therapist for you can seem like a daunting task, but it’s worth the effort. Reboot Health recommends asking people you know for recommendations or asking for a referral from your doctor. To save time on commuting to an office, you may want to schedule virtual sessions.
Make Time for Your Personal Goals
You might feel drained because you’ve pushed your own passions to the backburner since becoming a parent. But working towards your own personal goals can be surprisingly energizing, and you might find that it’s easier to handle childcare when you can also dedicate time to your own self-improvement.
For example, you might find that your career is adding significantly to your stress levels. Earning an online degree can be a stepping stone towards transitioning into a less stressful career that offers better work-life balance. The flexibility and wide range of programs offered by online education can help you gain the necessary skills and knowledge for these roles, allowing for a smoother career shift. For instance, earning a cybersecurity degree can help you discover more options in the fast-growing tech industry, equipping you with the skills to protect digital infrastructure and data from cyber threats.
Look Out for Negative Outcomes
As you implement these lifestyle changes, stay on the lookout for potential negative consequences. Ensure you’re splitting the parenting workload fairly with your partner, and be conscious of how much you ask of your support system. Check in with each other from time to time to make sure that you’re both able to handle your individual responsibilities, and make adjustments if one of you is feeling overwhelmed.
When you’re the parent of a child with special needs, it’s all too easy to feel burnt out. Asking for more support, eating a nutritious diet, blocking off time to pursue your own goals, and even talking to a therapist can all help. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to formulate a plan to address your fatigue.
Explore the journey of a 50-year-old new mom balancing life, work, and self-care at 50 is the New Mommy. Visit us for inspiring stories and practical tips.