Most parents experience exhaustion during the first years of their babies’ lives. However, their weariness subsides as the children become independent. However, as the parent of a special needs child, you must continue to help with essential care duties as your young one grows.
Providing ongoing care can result in fatigue. Fatigue is a state of exhaustion not easily resolved by rest. Research indicates that parents of children with autism experience stress levels comparable to combat soldiers. Without adequate support, caregivers like you can reach a burnout point.
From Kanika Chadda-Gupta, this article provides information to help you diagnose your fatigue level and discover ideas for creating a self-care treatment plan.
What Are Some Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout?
While burnout stems from being emotionally overwhelmed, it also has physiological effects. Some signs you suffer from fatigue include:
- Inability to concentrate
- Feelings of guilt or anger
- Helplessness or apathy
- Increased heart rate
- Joint or muscle pain
- Changes in appetite
- Poor sleep quality
- How Can You Assess Your Level of Fatigue?
When you must complete many physically and emotionally draining tasks each day, it is not easy to know if you are experiencing harmful fatigue levels. Consider some key indicators:
- Depression or anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Marital problems
- Feelings of inadequacy as a parent
- Lack of social support
- How Can You Incorporate a Self-Care Plan?
With so many daily tasks, planning even one more thing seems impossible at best. However, if you fail to care for yourself, you may have trouble caring for your child.
You don’t have to create the perfect self-care regimen. Begin by simply making positive changes to your home. Declutter your spaces and add pleasing touches like houseplants or accent pieces that make you feel good. This process can significantly impact your overall mood.
Focus on the Basics
Practice kindness toward yourself. You do not need to be the perfect parent, and it is normal to feel sad, overwhelmed or lonely. Identify and recognize your feelings. Take deep breaths, get fresh air, move your body and drink water. These small acts maintain your body and mind, benefitting you and your child.
Although you have many responsibilities, you can still pursue your personal goals. Feeling fulfilled minimizes fatigue, giving you more energy. Maybe you have a hobby you haven’t done for a while or a new one you’d like to try, or perhaps you have larger objectives, such as changing careers.
Maybe now’s the time to utilize a resume builder and look for a change of pace. You could also consider going back to school. Online coursework allows you the flexibility to achieve your higher education goals on your schedule. You can earn a bachelor’s degree at your own pace from an accredited school, laying the groundwork for a career that fits your needs.
How Do You Balance Your Needs With Your Child’s Needs?
It is vital to plan your care into your daily and weekly schedules. You do not want to overburden your support network or neglect your essential tasks. Be sure to assess your situation fully:
- Is your fatigue a result of overcompensating for your partner?
- Are you suffering from depression or anxiety attacks that require professional help?
- Do you have resources and support that can provide you with regular breaks?
Fatigue can lead to burnout, which negatively impacts your health and abilities. As a constant caregiver, you must remember to prioritize your own needs so you can help your child.
Kanika Chadda-Gupta is a wife, mom of three [twins + 1] and CEO of Kronologie Agency, a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in branding and web design. She’d love to hear from you!