As a Single divorced parent of 2 teenagers who struggle with Autism and mental health, it is becoming even harder to look after myself. I have had days when I have been so very low. Lack of sleep all the worrying we do about them its a never ending circle of emotions that is constant. Its a battle believe me. I wonder If it will ever end. So while I do this I also remind myself to take some form of self care. Are you looking for more ways to cope with life’s challenges ?
- Self Care is Paramount
Selfcare do something for you every day, It doesn’t matter how small take 5minutes if that’s all you have. I find getting out in nature helps me and meditation, journaling it out of my head. Take care, remember you’re important too and to look after someone else you have to look after you. Self care is so important! We can easily get so caught up in caring for our children that we forget about ourselves. What do you like to do that makes you feel like you? What activities or hobbies do you enjoy that capture your attention and allow you to be swept away in the moment? These things nourish us and provide a break from thinking about Mental Health all the time. Eating a healthy diet is so important too. Why not practise Gratitude you could do this with your children too.
2. Get out and Exercise
For me, getting some physical activity is vital for my mental health, as well as being out in nature. So taking walks is a big part of my self care. Or do a Couch to 5K download the App and join up with a friend. A few years ago I took up the Couch to 5K challenge and now I take part in Saturday Morning park runs. The joy you feel after completing a 5K is actually lifechanging. If running isnt your thing try Yoga or Pilates. Follow a Joe Wicks workout with your Kids or a Davina DVD. Anything that gets you moving builds up those endorphins.
3. Meet up with Friends
Having an outlet and finding someone to talk is really helpful. and we’re glad to listen and offer support! It’s also nice to get out sometimes and meet a friend for coffee, Talk to friends about the problems, as sometimes I’m not being rational and can’t see the whole picture.
4. Binge watch a favourite TV show
Sometimes binge watching a show on Netflix can be self care, and that’s one I often share with my teen. It’s a low pressure way to relax and spend quality time together.
I was trying meditation to try and help, and took up drawing, and trying to get out for walks to help my self care when my son was struggling with his MH, and it was helping, and even those my son since moved out I still try and do selfcare which I was advised to do when I enquired about having counselling again.xxSome time away from the child either doing something you enjoy or that consumes all of your attention but doesn’t cause you too much stress. So this could be your job but it may not be for everyone. I got some respite through volunteering for an hour a week and I was sometimes away overnight with work which I found very helpful.
I meditate using crystals and aromatherapy oils , take time out for yourself to recharge and heal x
6. Listen to a Podcast or Read a good Book
I listen to podcasts on anxiety which help me, you would think i was an expert by now! Breathe it all out. Clean the house. Put my 80s music on and dance!
7. Do some Arts and Crafts Cook or Bake.
I find craft (any kind) helps me. I crochet, sew, make cards, quilt, diamond art and colouring. I’m also doing a college course online, which I do for 30mins every day. Bake a cake try a new recipe. I make Jewellery and I recently took up pottery.
8. Get a Manicure or Pedicure
It is true that when we look good we feel good. You do not have to spend a fortune you can do your own home spa or treat yourself and go to a beauty salon. Its up to you but it will make you feel good about yourself. Self Care is extremely important for your well-being.
9. Go Shopping
Take a day off give yourself a budget and go shopping for you (not your kids) you don’t have to spend much take a trip to your high street Charity shops have an idea of what you need. Ask for help in the shop for items you are looking for. There is nothing better than feeling good with a new outfit.
10. Get enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to help you help your child teenager with their struggles. Aim for at least 7 hours a night if you can. If you wake up tired try and go to bed earlier that evening. I use a lavender sleep pillow mist from Cotswold Lavender in Snowshill near Broadway.
You matter. You matter. You matter. Take care of yourself. This will not only benefit you but also help you show up how you want and need to for your child. From personal experience don’t sacrifice your sleep long term. Nourish you. I like mindfulness and getting out in nature. You matter
Just remember that every little me time helps you and your child x
I would say, don’t struggle alone, get some support, you don’t have to carry the load on your own, you are not a failure if you ask the GP for help.
Me time I don’t know what I’d do without it.
It doesn’t matter if its watching rubbish on TV, reading a chapter of a book or just sitting quietly usually in a different room to your child.
YOU MATTER TAKE CARE OF YOU!