There are many ways in which parents can address and maintain their mental and emotional well-being. One of those ways is observing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment.
When we focus our minds on the present, we are taking charge of our thoughts and feelings. We will not let past regrets or future doubts burden us. This leads us to one of the hallmarks of mindfulness - acceptance of that which is out of our control and working to address that which we can.
Oftentimes, parents of children with disabilities are weighed down by thoughts of the unknown. Worries like how will this diagnosis affect my child’s development? Or how will we pay for all the medical costs? Will my child’s services be cut? Will they get the intervention they need in school?
Questions like these can send any parent into a state of constant stress and anxiety. But they are perfect for the practice of mindfulness. One of the hallmarks of mindfulness is acceptance of that which is out of our control. And work to address that which we can.
Some basic mindfulness practices include:
You can find out more about these practices on the website, Pocket Mindfulness.
After a particularly stressful meeting at school, I used mindfulness to focus on my daughter and not dwell on my negative feelings about the meeting. I was able to enjoy my daughter’s zest for life. Her love of all things girly. Her new haircut.
Use of mindfulness can help reduce stress. It can help improve the mental and emotional well-being of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities. It can promote awareness and acceptance. Using these practices in your daily life could mean a world of difference for you and your child.
Taking care of yourself and your well-being is necessary.
After making the difficult decision to medicate your child, with time and on occasions, old symptoms return or new ones appear. Once again, you’re faced with what felt like an already-made decision - to medicate higher or more, or not.