Self-care Tips for Parents & Carers of Children with ASD

Monday, November 26 2018

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

L4Life Article - parent self care

We all know self-care is important, but sometimes we lose track of doing things for ourselves when we’re so busy organising, planning and preparing everything for our children. The issue becomes our inability to do the above effectively if we’re running on empty.

It’s worthwhile setting aside “me time” to rejuvenate, replenish and regenerate that energy.

Below are some ideas we encourage parents to explore:

  • Make time to do what you love. Bake a cake. Phone a friend to chat.
  • Plan for an early night and get some rest.
  • Try a guided meditation. Get started with an easy-to-use app like Headspace or Smiling Mind.
  • If available, source family support that enables you to take an evening off to do something you enjoy such as going to a movie or taking a dance lesson. When you’re trying to remember new choreography, you won’t have time to think about much else!
  • Disconnect from technology for 30-60 minutes. No alerts. No alarms. No interruptions.
  • Take yourself out to lunch. Enjoy every bite.
  • Connect with nature.

Research tells us that connecting with nature increases feelings of relaxation, improves wellbeing and emotional states, and alleviates stress.

  • Stand outside under a tree and take 3 breaths of fresh air.
  • Take your shoes off and feel the grass under your feet.
  • Jump in a puddle (with gumboots, of course.)
  • Be in the moment and feel the sun on your face.
  • Change your phone screensaver to something nature-themed.
  • Go for a walk in the local park.
  • Do some gardening.

It might be difficult to find time to start with, but having a set “me time” can do wonders for filling your cup, so you can keep achieving.

Written by Erin Sinclair, Chief Happiness Officer and Clinical Supervisor with Learning For Life