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Important Steps to Tackling Fatigue as the Parent of a Child with a Disability

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, you know that your child depends on you heavily, and they may need your support for the rest of their life. You might feel like you’re crushed by fatigue some days, and you’re determined to regain your energy and motivation. These tips, shared by Village Family Food Pantry, will explain how to create a step-by-step plan to address and heal your fatigue.

Ask These Essential Questions

To pinpoint the real reasons for your fatigue, and come up with some tactics to address these issues effectively, you need to ask yourself a series of questions — and you may want to ask your partner these questions, too. For instance, how much time does caregiving consume in your day? How much sleep are you getting in comparison? What is your level of physical activity like? How strong is your support network? Your answers will help you clarify which areas of your life you need to address.

Create a Plan

Chances are, no matter the reasons for your fatigue, you need more help than you’re getting. If you feel hesitant to ask for help, Mom 2.0 recommends starting with small requests. Reach out to family members and friends, be direct and clear about what you specifically need help with, and resist the urge to apologize for asking. 

Stay Active

Taking regular walks is a simple yet effective way to improve your overall health and well-being. Walking helps to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, and even boost your mood. To make the most of your walks, seek out new trails, parks, or scenic paths that you may not have known about before. By incorporating regular walks into your routine and exploring new areas through a walk score map, you can prioritize your physical and mental health while enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Prioritize Your Health

You can also care for your health by keeping up with routine healthcare visits. It is all too easy to focus on your child and put your well-being to the side, but this is not healthy. Keep up with your appointments, too.  "Self Care is not a Selfish Choice.  It is the Healthy Choice". If you don’t currently have health insurance, check out your options for plans on the exchange and state-subsidized policies.

Avoid Potential Pitfalls

Even with the best of intentions, you might make some missteps as you aim to improve your quality of life and energy levels. It may take some time for you and your partner to figure out how to balance your responsibilities so that you’re dividing the workload equally. You may be tempted to turn to forms of self-care that are just forms of self-indulgence and don’t help boost your energy in the long run. Keep an eye out for these issues, and take time to discuss them with your partner if they crop up so you can move forward healthily.

Seek Employment Flexibility

A key strategy in managing fatigue is to seek employment that offers flexible scheduling. This can significantly ease the pressure of balancing work commitments with the unique demands of parenting. Flexible work hours or the possibility of remote work can provide the necessary time and energy to attend to your child's needs without compromising your professional responsibilities. 

However, transitioning to a more accommodating job often requires presenting a standout resume that highlights your skills and experience. In this context, utilizing a free resume creator can be immensely beneficial. These tools help in creating a professional and visually appealing resume with ease. They often provide industry-specific examples and suggestions, ensuring your resume effectively communicates your strengths and suitability for roles with the desired flexibility. 

Take Care of Your Home

As a parent, it can be tough to keep the house as tidy as possible while managing all of the other elements of everyday life. Keeping a clean and organized home space, however, is an important part of creating a family environment that minimizes stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. 

There are plenty of resources available for parents who need help determining where to start — from apps to create cleaning schedules, simple tips on organizing things like toys and clothing, and ideas for inexpensive, natural cleaning alternatives — which can go a long way toward making housekeeping manageable. It's worth putting in the effort even if it requires hard work at first; with dedication and reliable techniques, you can have your tidy dream home before you know it!

Consider Moving

When reflecting on your current living situation, if you find certain aspects unsatisfactory, consider whether relocating could alleviate these issues. Perhaps your current location requires lengthy commutes for essential appointments or lacks pedestrian-friendly zones for exercise and leisure. 

If these are concerns, it might be beneficial to explore other neighborhoods or cities. Before making a permanent move, think about renting in a potential new area first. This approach allows you to experience the community, assess its convenience for your needs, and determine if it truly fits your lifestyle before committing to a home purchase. Free real estate sites make it easy to zero in on your preferred location, and you can filter for the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as accessibility features. 

Raising a special needs child brings lots of unexpected challenges, and it’s a round-the-clock job. It’s only natural to feel fatigued and rundown when you’re carrying such a significant responsibility. But by getting more support, creating a comprehensive schedule for your whole family, and finding spare moments for yourself, you can get your energy and spark back.

Village Family Quality Food & Community Resource Center is a not-for-profit hunger-relief organization. We feed, clothe and educate every month. We are a partner agency with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Visit our website to learn more!

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