Avoiding Burnout as a Parent/Caregiver to a Child with Special Needs
Knowing how to reduce or avoid caregiver burnout is more important than ever given our current reality. Scheduling changes, loss of important resources/support, and disruption to your everyday routine as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be taking a serious toll on you and your child’s physical and mental health. If you are a parent/caregiver of a child with a disability, consider these tips to help reduce burnout during COVID-19:
- Understand Burnout ‘Symptoms’ – It is important for you to understand what your body is telling you and how this relates to burnout. If you are feeling overwhelmed, struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, increasingly irritable, feeling hopeless, or having headaches/chest pains, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor or other health care professional about your feelings and potential treatment options.
- Know When to Let Things Go – If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that things won’t always go according to plan and we truly have to be okay with going with the flow. Maybe you need to allow your child more screen time, sign up for a meal kit service, or change up your child’s bedtime hours. Whatever it is, do what you have to do to ensure you have some time for yourself! This year has been exceptional, and that means you may need to use some exceptional strategies! Remember to be kind to yourself. Perhaps you can forget some of your parenting goals or usual standards and simply focus on getting through things one day at a time.
- Ask for Help – Although your child may require specialized care that your friends cannot assist with, there are other things your loved ones can do to lessen your load – even during the pandemic! Don’t be afraid to ask for help with grocery runs, shovelling the driveway, or preparing meals. Maybe you just need someone to vent to or you a few recommendations of games/activities for your child. Whatever it is, do not be afraid to ask for help. Doing so may lessen the likelihood that you experience burnout.
- Join a Support Group – Being able to chat with other parents who are going through similar experiences is essential in reducing stress and possible burnout. The good news is that we have just the community for you! Read more details below about joining our Stronger Together program, and specifically, the Plan to Move Your Kids community. It is all about providing support and resources for parents/caregivers of children with a disability to increase their physical activity participation at home!
Are you a parent of a child with a disability and looking for resources during COVID-19?
Start This Year Stronger Together! Access free, in-app health coaching and expert programs about physical activity for children with a disability during COVID-19. Connect with peer-to-peer support while helping improve resources for parents of children with a disability in Canada. By joining our Stronger Together community, you’ll have virtual health support in the palm of your hand this winter while learning more about what you can do to improve your/your child’s health and wellness. Follow along with daily discussions, Q&A with experts, peer insights and take part in a personalized program just for you! Spots are limited so join here now!
How To Avoid Burnout When You’re Parenting A Child With Special Needs | HuffPost Canada Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2021, from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/burnout-special-needs-parenting-pandemic_ca_5f0dcbb4c5b648c301efeb14?guccounter=1