10 Easy Steps to Take Care of Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

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 ?

  1. 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.

5. Meditation

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 Look for more mental health tips online

Just remember that every little me time helps you and your child x You need to avoid burn-out.

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!

 

How to Help an Autistic Child

Autism Facts

The Perception of Danger, Sensory issues, Finding Comfort in Repetition , Obsessions ,Anxiety, Feeling Excluded from Society, Caring for a Child with Autism

It’s important to remember that autistic people are not all the same. They have different needs and how we interact with them should change depending on what those needs are. One person might enjoy intense touch, while another might be bothered by it. My son loved tight hugs as a child.

Sensory processing disorder is a neurological condition that affects how the brain receives messages from the senses. Those who suffer from this disorder may experience certain sounds or smells as being too intense. This can lead to meltdowns and self-soothing.

An individual with sensory processing disorder can present at different ages and in different ways. There are no diagnostic tests for sensory processing disorder, yet there are some assessments that medical professionals can use to rule out other possible causes of behaviour or developmental delays. These assessments include: motor skills, cognitive development, social skills, hearing/vision, language skills, and reactions to temperature and pain.

Sensory sensitivities are the perception of sensory stimuli that are either too intense, not intense enough, or simply the wrong type of stimulation.

The key to helping someone with sensory issues is to understand what they need and offer it to them. If you’re talking to someone who has noise sensitivities, for example, reduce their noise levels by turning off the TV or radio or moving further away from traffic. If you’re talking to someone who has touch sensitivities and is getting overwhelmed by your hug, introduce yourself with a handshake instead of a hug.

There are many ways we can help people with sensory issues without being aware that they have them in the first place.

Early detection and treatment is imperative for children with speech difficulties. My son had speech and language difficulties which were picked up at his 2nd year health visit assessment.

Parents should be aware of how to identify early signs of speech problems. They can talk to their child’s doctor if they notice something unusual or they observe that the child is not speaking at the same age as other children from the same family. Speak with your health visitor as soon as possible. My own sons difficulties were picked up in this way.

Parents should also know how to identify early warning signs in a child with speech difficulties. These include:

– Refusal to speak or use words,

– Signs of hearing loss,

– Frequently turning head away when talking,

– Asking for repetition often,

– Hesitation and pauses in conversation,

– Difficulty following directions and understanding what others are saying

—How to deal with an Autistic meltdown.

This section focuses on the intervention steps for those who are experiencing a meltdown. A meltdown is a situation where an individual with autism loses control of their emotions and behaviour.

People with autism can exhibit many different types of behaviours that appear to be symptoms of a meltdown. Some common reactions include intense anger or panic, aggression, screaming, and any other impulsive behaviour. Sometimes these meltdowns happen because an individual is feeling overwhelmed by the sensory environment around them. Other times they may be triggered by an event like getting lost or waiting in line too long.

The first step is to identify triggers for the individual’s meltdowns in order to avoid them as much as possible in the future. Once they have been identified, there are techniques available to reduce their intensity and duration if they do happen

The best way to communicate with autistic children is through repetition and consistency of language.

In order to understand the autistic child it is important to be empathetic and understanding. The child will likely not have the ability to articulate their needs or frustrations, so it is important for the caregiver to read into what the child wants or needs.

I hope this blog gives you a better understanding about how an autistic child views the world and that you can better understand how to help a child or your own child. Having a child with Autism can be a challenge to your mental health and wellbeing. It is really important to get enough sleep. I find a weighted blanket can really help not only with your sleep but it can benefit an autistic child too. My son has one and has used it for years.