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Self-Care for Parents


Often, students who come to Untapped require additional attention and assistance. For parents, this can be draining. Studies show that parents of children with learning differences are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and other medical and mental health issues. Parents often neglect their own needs to focus on their children. However, by disregarding your well-being, you risk reaching a point of burnout that adversely affects your ability to care for your children effectively.

Burnout

Burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. The effects of burnout can permeate every aspect of one’s life. Burnout leads to feelings of self-doubt or failure and has real consequences on physical and emotional health. The way to recover from or prevent burnout is to build resilience to stress by caring for oneself physically and emotionally.

Understanding Self-Care

To combat burnout and nurture yourself, you must embrace the concept of self-care. The three fundamental levels of self-care that deserve your attention are: 

#1: Ensure your basic needs are met. 

Getting sufficient sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in regular exercise is essential for your physical and emotional well-being. While these tasks might seem simple, they can feel like a monumental effort as you try to juggle everything. If that is the case, start small. If you only sleep five hours one night, shoot for an extra half an hour the next night. By gradually incorporating small changes, you can build healthy habits to sustain you in the long run.

#2: Simplify your life.

You must identify areas where you can seek support, whether through delegating household tasks, connecting with organizations catering to your child’s needs, or joining supportive communities. By easing your burdens, you free up valuable time and mental space, allowing you to focus on your well-being. Remember- this free time does not have to be productive; it can and should be restful. 

#3: Do things that make your life more enjoyable. 

Carving out dedicated “me time” is not a luxury but a necessity. Whether indulging in a favorite TV show, treating yourself to a weekend ice cream outing, or participating in activities like yoga, you must permit yourself to engage in activities that make you happy. By prioritizing your passions and hobbies, you recharge your spirits and become better equipped to support your children.

Harness Support

One invaluable resource that should be considered is the power of support groups. Research demonstrates that participating in parenting support groups equips you with healthy parenting skills and offers a sense of empowerment and belonging. Especially for parents of teens grappling with anxiety, depression, or learning disabilities, these groups provide a safe space to share experiences and weak guidance. As one mother in the Untapped program said, “Support groups can help us see the light at the end of the tunnel and find the support we need along the way.”

The Power of a Positive Mindset

Cultivating a positive mindset plays a crucial role in overall well-being. Studies have shown that maintaining optimism, acceptance, resilience, gratitude, mindfulness, and integrity leads to better health and stress management. By actively embracing these qualities, we can equip ourselves with the tools to overcome life’s challenges and inspire positivity within our families. 

Key Takeaways

All parents need time to care for themselves and their student’s well-being. It’s essential to acknowledge that accessing resources, finding pockets of personal time, and nurturing your growth are not selfish acts but necessary steps toward achieving balance. Even five minutes of daily quiet time can profoundly impact your life.

Parenting a child who struggles with executive function can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Let Untapped help!

For More:

Why Self-Care Is Essential to Parenting

Parents and Caregivers

Positive thinking: activity for children, teenagers and parents

Anxiety or Mood Disorders Support Group

A parent to parent support community

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