• Shelley

Care for yourself…a necessity, not a luxury

The word ‘self-care’ traditionally conjures up images of bubble baths and spa days. These are certainly fabulous ways to relax and look after yourself but they are not always easy to fit into everyday family life or accessible for all parents.

The idea of caring for yourself in small, manageable ways each and every day in order to understand and maintain connection with yourself, is more appropriate here. In the hubbub of family life, there is a stronger likelihood that you can take 5 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, 3 minutes to message a friend or even 1 minute to take a few deep breaths, in order to restore some sense of harmony and peace.

Some days even that 1 minute will seem a stretch for you, when you are dealing with the additional challenges that neurodivergence in your family can bring. You may even have 1 minute in time, but struggle to be in the right frame of mind to ensure that opportunity to care for yourself.

Without that personal connection and care, it will be difficult to maintain the energy and strength to face the challenges that being a parent brings. Your ability to self-regulate will be sorely tested and then also the ability to facilitate co-regulation with your child. Eventually your personal reserves will run dry and there will be nothing left to give and then both you, your young person and the rest of your family will suffer.

The alternative is using tiny pockets of time to care for yourself, in ways that feels manageable and meaningful to you, prioritising this every day, in order to maintain your own sense of wellbeing, in order to best support your young person. Certainly not a luxury, but an absolute necessity.

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