Raising a child with special needs comes with its own challenges and demands.
Every parent worries about their child and their well-being, but parents who have children with special needs get a little more of that, on a daily basis, especially during this time period.
It’s ok to feel that way, and it’s also ok to say it. However, parenting a child with special needs almost morphs you into superwoman/superman. You always muster enough power to charge forward and save the day, without stopping to think or feel. You just get it done!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and melancholy, you’re not alone.
We all must create some light in our lives during this dark time. If you have someone to share with, someone to give you a break, or someone that can support you emotionally, that’s great. Meaningful interaction with other adults is vital during times like these. Many of us are taking care of everything, all the time. I’m here to tell you that only you can make a change. Just make one small change, during the day, each day, which is just for you. On your ‘to do’ list, please add the following for yourself:
1. Identify a relaxation technique that you enjoy (mediation, contract-relax your muscles and start from your toes and work your way up, deep breathing, yoga, reading or gardening….). There are many free opportunities online.
2. Write a letter to your child about how they are special to you.
3. Get outside-Nature is cheaper than therapy.
4. Exercise- whether exercising means doing an online yoga class, a quick HIIT workout, or go for a quick 10-minute walk or run.
5. Touch base with an old friend or family member.
6. Make a list of the 5 positive changes you’ve seen in your children since the pandemic started.
7. Is there a project that you simply always wanted to do, but you haven’t? Start it and dedicate a little time to this project every day.
8. Read a blog/write a blog- There are many communities out there. Find a group that you can identify with, a group that makes you laugh or cry, or where you can simply share.
There are so many things that we MUST DO each day. Choose one or two things that you WANT to do today. This is our new norm and we all have to create a “happy place” that serves as our respite.
I won’t preach to you about how you deserve this time, I’m urging you to keep yourself whole, the best way you can. I hope this blog planted the seed for a couple of changes that you can implement right now. Only you can make it happen!
Dr. Sharon Galitzer, PT, DScPT, MS, CIMI