6 Strategies For Managing Stress
First and foremost, education is a source of power. Parents should learn everything they possibly can about their special need child’s condition, its symptoms, and causes. Simply learning about the numbers that are affected with this illness or disability will help parents to not feel so alone. They should also keep in mind that not everything on the internet will be factual, and find books by authors who have dealt with the illness.
2. Get social support
The best social support starts with those closest to the parents and their child. Family and friends are the ones most likely to offer support. By confiding in them, parents will have an outlet, and these family members will feel a part of the living-giving process. They will help to bring “normal” back to the upheaval parents have felt in their life throughout these recent events.
3. Dealing with other people
To lighten the emotional load, parents can start by making a specific list of problems that are stressing them out, including school placement, homework, educating those outside the immediate family about the child’s problems, transportation to and from school and other related activities. Then, they can determine which things they have control over and what their ultimate goals would be.
4. Financial support
Chronic illnesses and disabilities tend to pull families apart for emotional reasons. They are also very draining on family budgets and resources because of the additional medical services, medications, counseling, and other money constraints that progressively grow over the lifetime of the disability. When researching the available financial help, parents can feel overwhelmed and worried. However, no matter where they live, there are government programs and private programs available to help families.
5. Caregiver support
Last, but certainly not least, the caregiver must give the child the gift of a healthy and confident parent. The only way for parents to do that is to take care of themselves. Parents can begin by making a schedule for themselves; that is, what they will eat today, what kind of exercise they will accomplish, and how many hours of stress-free sleep they will carve out for themselves. It helps to know their high and low energy times and work around those. Parents are a child’s most important advocate. They need to make sure they are ready for the job.
6. Recruit others in the family to help
Parents who have a child with a chronic disability know that time is a rare and special gift. They should use it wisely, for example by sharing household tasks with everyone in the household. Parents, especially moms, don’t have to do it all! They should ask for help with cleaning, cooking, even shopping.