TAKE A CHANCE, MAKE A CHANGE

Raising a child with a disability or special needs is pretty hard work, believe me I know. We live it every day of our lives, we read, we research, we attend an unbelievable amount of appointments and see many different specialists. We adore our kids and do the very best for them but our stress levels can be so high, along with every emotion going so sometimes people's 'well intentioned comments' can actually be really offensive to us, we totally understand that you may be trying to help but please think about what is actually being said as they can have the totally opposite effect... After to chatting to some other amazing mums to children with Autism we came up with this list of 20 things NOT to say to a parent of a child with Autism. All of the below has actually been said to a parent.

Do you ever find yourself totally stuck in a rut? Not necessarily unhappy, but just feeling a little bit ‘meh’ and not sure what comes next for you in life. Don’t worry – many people are in the same position. You’re doing the same things every day; school runs, commutes to work if you work out of the home, food shopping and housework all get a little frustratingly boring from time to time. It’s really easy to find yourself bored and not knowing what to do next. You want to shake things up, without shaking things up too much to dislodge what you have that makes you happy. It’s an annoying funk to be in, really.

If you’re feeling lost, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone. The vast majority of the population get to a point in life where they’re a bit fed up and ready to make some changes. This can be dangerous though, as when you are going through an internal crisis the last thing you should do is make radical changes to your life. You should make changes to things you are not feeling entirely happy about, and try not to alter your life in a big way. Clarity and self-awareness both come with time and part of that requires you to have some patience and calm. Getting yourself onto the right track and feeling contented is important, so we’ve got some ways you can get your thoughts in order to make life easier for you.

WRITE LISTS

Before you can even start to make any changes, you need to know what it is you want to change. Is it a physical change you want, or a change of circumstances? Are you leaning toward diet shakes and a workout regime to get your body feeling healthy? Or are you aiming to emigrate across the world to literally make a change? You need to understand it and the first step to that is making lists. Writing a list can give you the clarity that you seek and help you to identify what it is you want to do next. Also, seeing certain things written down can make you think about whether they are right for you at all. You can easily make sense of the things that are confusing you if you spend time noting them down.

BOOST CONFIDENCE

When you are going through a period of feeling discontented in life, sometimes a pick me up is something that can really help. Dress up a little bit and take the time to make yourself over. Your appearance may not be something that you think of all the time, but making a special effort to revamp your wardrobe, change your hair colour and even redo your makeup can make you feel well-presented. You want to make yourself feel confident and worthy of what you do day to day, so by making yourself look smart, you can draw from that confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re faking it, whatever gets you through the day!

BE GRATEFUL

So, you’re feeling like life isn’t what you want it to be. Before you convince yourself that you are unhappy, you need to look around at what you do have instead of what you a lacking. Do you have a family? Supportive friends? A job you love with a salary that keeps your account solvent? All of these things are ‘check boxes’ for life and if you have these things, you are pretty lucky. It happens too often that life passes us by without us acknowledging our gratitude for the things we are fortunate enough to have. Take a moment and say out loud the things you are grateful for in your life. Saying it out loud can make you realise exactly what it is you do have, and why you should feel happy about it. Once you’ve done that, you can then concentrate on the things that are missing for you.

LOOK WITHIN

If you find yourself looking at the lives of those around you and feeling envious, it’s time to stop. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors of other families. That friend of yours that you envy for that perfect life: husband, kids, money, holidays etc, could well be drowning in debt and putting on a front. Everyone puts on a face when it comes to their lives, be it on social media or in person, so you cannot judge someone else’s happiness and believe that yours is any less than theirs. What matters is what you do in your life, not what others have that you do not. Look within yourself and decide that what you have, what you are is enough.

LOOK AFTER YOU

One of the most difficult things to do on a consistent basis is taking care of ourselves, which is probably why you find yourself feeling a bit lost sometimes. If you take the time to dedicate an hour a day to your own health and wellbeing, you could find yourself feeling dramatically different. That’s not to say you need to spend it down at the gym or dieting, but you could find the time for a long bubble bath and a relax. You could meditate or do a yoga video from one of the choices here. You could even just take yourself for a long walk with some music to listen to. Do things by yourself, for yourself, because even if you are a wife/husband/employee/parent, you were a person before you did any of those things.

Finding yourself isn’t easy, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking to change. The trick is to remember that you don’t have to feel lost and confused for very long. You do need to give yourself a chance to make a long-term change, though, because it won’t always happen overnight. Your health – both physical and mental – is important. Try not to put yourself second, even if it feels like you should sometimes.

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