When you’re an Autism mom, you are constantly juggling with multiple responsibilities. With work, therapies, doctor’s appointments, and household chores – we’re often left with little room or energy to focus on our own needs. Consequently, self-care quickly falls to the back burner as you continue with your daily grind.
Even though it may seem like the right thing to do, routinely dismissing your own needs can have an adverse effect on your overall health. It can make you irritable, fatigued, stressed, and susceptible to a full-blown burnout. So, in order to save your health (and sanity), please make time for self-care!
By taking better care of yourself, you’ll not just meet your own needs. You’ll also equip yourself to take better care of your family as well. Want to know where to begin? Here are some simple self-care strategies you can start following right away:
- Sneak exercise into your daily routine. Sticking to your usual workout routine can be challenging for busy moms. One way to tackle this issue is to choose outdoor activities that you can do with your kids to stay physically active, consistently. For instance, you can take your kids to a playground. Even simple exercises like doing lunges, jumping jacks, and squat jumps while your little one plays can help you stay fit and energized. Just remember that consistency is the key.
- Take advantage of early mornings. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you don’t miss out on me time is to start off early in the day. Go for a quick jog or walk, practice meditation, read a book, or have a quick massage by using a shiatsu massage pillow to massage your shoulders and upper back at home. You can also try self-care apps like Headspace, Happy Not Perfect, Colorfy, and 365 Gratitude.
- Try micro self-care techniques. Let’s be real, it’s not feasible to soak in bubble baths for hours or go cloud-watching every single day when you’ve got so many errands to run. The trick here is to practice self-care in short intervals, so you can easily squeeze it into your jampacked routine. For example, try one-sentence journaling or five-minute journaling before going to bed. You can listen to your favorite music or podcast while driving, whip up your favorite dish on a weekend, or take deep breaths for five minutes after you wake up.
- Invest time in your health. Be honest, when was the last time you went for a full body check-up? Know that your health and overall well-being is just as important as that of your kids. So, make time to see your ob/gyn, schedule dental exams, and go for annual check-ups that all include important tests. In addition to this, be mindful of what you put in your body. Load up on whole foods like grains, nuts, lean meats, fresh fruits, and veggies.
In addition to all of this, be realistic while setting your daily goals and regularly assess your priorities. As much as we want to, we cannot do it all. However, we can set realistic goals to achieve.
And last but not least, please don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – whether it’s from your partner, family members, friends, fellow Autism parents, or a counselor. I know it can be difficult to find support, but please reach out if you ever need it. If you’re ever looking for support and comraderie from fellow Autism Moms who get it, I’d like to encourage you to join our Autism Moms Are Beautiful with Nichole Wilson group on Facebook if you aren’t a part of it already. If you’re bilingual, we also have a Spanish support group called Cafe Azul. No matter which group you choose to join, you will be met with compassion and encouragement. Keep on rocking, Autism Moms!