Parenting is perhaps the toughest job, and it becomes even more challenging when you raise an autistic child. The journey is stressful and exhausting because you have to handle more than the day-to-day responsibilities. Organizing therapy schedules, researching the latest interventions, and monitoring the diet and medications of the child increase your workload. You can expect to encounter caregiver burnout at some point.
It is dangerous because you may feel resentment and detachment towards your child. Your health takes a blow too. Having a strategy to avoid it can save you and your family from trouble. Here are some proven measures that can help.
Create a self-help list
Create a list of things that help you feel better when stressed. Consider activities that calm you down. It could be eating a piece of chocolate, listening to music, gardening, talking to a friend, or going out for a walk. Likewise, you can learn deep breathing and meditation techniques that relieve stress just when it hits. A self-help list keeps you ready to handle difficult moments instead of looking for help.
Your parental responsibilities are crucial, but they shouldn’t come at the cost of overlooking your own needs. Prioritizing yourself is the key because a healthy and happy person can deal with burnout better. Create a schedule that fits in time for yourself. You need not spend hours on self-care. A 15-minute walk or a cup of coffee in solitude can make you feel good. Remember that you are worth it!
De-stress with cannabis
Anxiety is common in parents who raise autistic kids. You may even feel depressed when you handle the challenges for years. But the last thing you must do is become dependent on antidepressants. Fortunately, cannabis offers natural relief from stress and depression. The good thing is that it is legal in Canada, so procuring your regular supplies is not a concern. You can pick a vape pen from get kush and get started with your healing journey. A discreet session after putting the child to sleep can help you recover from the rigors of the day.
Connect with your partner
Caregiver stress aggravates when you have to do everything alone. Connect with your partner and seek support from them. Maybe, they support the family financially, and you handle the caregiver role. But just being able to share your woes helps. Tell them that you expect them to listen and do their bit. They could pitch in by taking care of the child during weekends so that you get some downtime.
Being a full-time caregiver for an autistic child can be overwhelming. You may not be able to handle the stress alone or even with a partner. It makes sense to seek professional counseling if things seem to get out of control. A professional can help you with therapeutic alternatives that address your anxiety and prevent burnout. Just talking to someone who listens can make a difference.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself and leave room for imperfections. You cannot do everything, no matter how hard you try. Let your love for your child inspire you to keep going, but do not forget yourself along the journey.