Managing your stress when caring for your disabled child
Many parents of disabled children feel under pressure or stressed. Managing stress might help you to feel more in control.
People feel stress in different ways
"I can’t sleep."
"I can’t eat."
"I’m eating too much."
"I can't focus or remember things."
"I can’t talk to my partner."
"I’m drinking too much."
"I feel like no one understands what I’m going through."
"I feel like I can’t cope."
Making things easier at home
Being a parent is hard. Looking after a child with additional needs means that you have even less time and energy at home. This can cause some parents to reach a crisis point.
Accepting that your life has changed will help. Some parents cope with these extra pressures by:
talking about how life has changed (not pretending that things are ‘fine’)
not cooking or cleaning as often (for example, eating more ready meals or doing less cleaning)
choosing your battles and maybe letting more things go
sleeping whenever you can, even if it’s just 10 minutes
prioritising what’s important to you at the time.
What support do you have?
Has anyone offered to make things easier? This could be looking after your child while you have a bath or go shopping. Ask for help if you need it.
Support could be a parents group, nursery, a friend you can talk to or respite care.
Taking a break
When you cannot find time just for yourself, take your child to the park, countryside or around your local area. Some parents find walking gives them ‘headspace’ while enjoying time with their child.
If you are able to find time, do something that helps you relax. This could be:
- watching your favourite show
- doing your favourite hobby
- taking a bath
Some parents find having their own morning routine helps them feel better. This could be getting up earlier to have a leisurely shower or bath and get ready for the day.
Talk to your GP if you need help
Talk to your doctor about getting treatment and support.
Discuss what’s affecting you. Tell your GP if you’re stressed, depressed or if you feel like you’re not coping. You could prepare for your appointment by writing down what you want to say. You could talk about:
- how you’re feeling
- if you’re not able to eat or sleep normally.
What should I say to my GP? (Mind)
Last reviewed by Scope on: 25/10/2018