Cover Image - Fatigue-Fighting Strategies For Parents Of Children With Disabilities

Fatigue-Fighting Strategies for Parents of Children with Disabilities

By Karen Weeks

Parenting & Fatigue

Parenting is challenging for even the most stalwart of hearts, but there are healthy ways to keep your life in balance and your energy positive. Since caregiver burnout is a real possibility, read on for some helpful fatigue-fighting strategies, courtesy of Different Brains.

Walk Out Stress

Walking is a terrific way to manage your stress levels and improve rest, and it can be very easy to fit into your schedule if you live or work in a walkable area. Try starting your day with a brisk stroll, or grab a 10 minute walk at lunchtime. Take your youngster along, or if necessary ask your partner or a close friend or family member to take care of your kiddo while you stretch your legs. Even better, walk to knock out your errands. It’s not only good for your mind and body, you’ll get extra warm fuzzies being kind to the environment.

Cleaning and Decluttering

Reducing stress is vital, and maintaining a clean and healthy home can play a significant role in achieving this goal. Decluttering your living space not only creates a more organized environment but also provides numerous benefits. A clutter-free home reduces visual and mental distractions, making it easier to focus on your child’s specific needs and routines.

To get started, invest in storage containers and shelving for your child’s playroom, ensuring that toys and supplies have designated spaces. Make decluttering a family activity by involving your kids, turning it into a game by setting a timer and guessing how quickly you can complete the task together. Not only will this process help reduce stress, but it can also teach your children valuable organization skills and foster a sense of accomplishment.

Drink Water and Avoid Diuretics  

Proper hydration can help you feel more energized, less hungry, improve your cognition, and even help you sleep better. Dehydration makes you feel more fatigued in the grand scheme of things, and is even associated with issues like muscle tension, sore joints, and headaches. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking ample water every day, and remember that regular coffee is a diuretic. If you must have coffee, drink water with it or choose decaf. You can even make your own blend of half- or third-caf coffee, just buy grounds and count scoops as you prep your pot.

Address Your Daily Routines

Often, parents fall into a routine and get things done out of habit, without looking closely at the ways that routines can affect their fatigue levels. If you’re doing most of the work around the house, or if you aren’t getting enough rest because you’re taking care of your child at night, those details are crucial when you’re assessing your responsibilities.

Take these factors into consideration:

  • Are you and your partner (if you have one) balancing caregiving?
  • Do you have social support?
  • How much time per day do you spend as a caregiver?
  • Are you making time for self-care?

Taking a close look at these factors can help you determine where you need the most help so you can shape a plan for reducing stress and general exhaustion. For instance, you might work out a schedule with your partner so that everyone can get a good night’s rest, or ask your supervisor about working remotely, which Virgin points out can be highly beneficial for parents of children with disabilities.

Pursue Personal Goals

Pursuing personal goals as a parent is not only fulfilling but also sets a positive example for your children. If you find your current job unrewarding or overly stressful, seeking new employment can be a transformative step.

The first step is to refresh your resume. In today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to create a standout resume without any design experience. You can make a resume online for free using various online resume builders. These platforms offer a library of professionally designed resume templates that you can customize to suit your professional narrative.

You have the flexibility to add your own text, choose colors that reflect your personality, and even incorporate personal photos or unique design elements to make your resume truly yours. By utilizing these tools, you can craft a professional and eye-catching resume that effectively showcases your skills and experiences, paving the way for new and exciting career opportunities that are more aligned with your life as a parent of a child with special needs.

Start Your Own Business

For parents of children with special needs, starting your own business can be a fulfilling way to balance professional aspirations with caregiving responsibilities. The first step is to brainstorm a business idea that aligns with your skills and passions, and then addresses a specific need or gap in the market. Once you have your idea, the next crucial step is writing a detailed business plan. This plan should outline your business objectives, strategies, market analysis, and financial projections, serving as a roadmap for your entrepreneurial journey. When deciding on the structure of your business, consider forming a Limited Liability Company via ZenBusiness.

An LLC offers several benefits, such as limited liability protection, which safeguards your personal assets from business debts and liabilities. It also provides tax advantages, as the profits and losses of the business can pass through to your personal tax return, often leading to tax efficiencies. Additionally, LLCs generally require less paperwork and offer greater flexibility in management and operation, making them suitable for small business owners. However, it’s important to note that each state has its own regulations regarding the formation of an LLC. Make sure to research and understand the specific requirements and rules in your state before moving forward. Starting a business as an LLC can provide the structure and protection you need while allowing the flexibility to cater to the unique needs of your family.

Find Your Balance

Caring for a child with disabilities can be extremely rewarding, but it’s important to take care of yourself as well. By assessing your current routines, creating a plan for your physical and mental well-being, and following your dreams like starting a business, you can ease fatigue in no time.

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Karen is a Senior Lifestyle blogger. She created as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.