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For the Special Needs Mom Who Isn't Taking Care of Herself This Season

The most helpful emails in health
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Taking care of yourself this Christmas is important, folks.

Please remember we don’t need to be superhuman. We will laugh and cry, have ups and downs, good days and days we are relieved just to see the end of. Don’t beat yourself up when things feel too much.

Give yourself a break every now and again to meet a friend for coffee when the hubby’s home, walk the dogs, go to the supermarket or catch up on the soaps (if you can).

Take people’s offers of help if you’re lucky enough to get them. Family often want to help and can often feel helpless not knowing what to do. It could be taking siblings out for a bit, doing some washing for you or walking your dogs. I know I can sometimes feel quite trapped over the holidays, so take any offer up. I know I will be if any come my way.

Online shop. Enough said.

If you can’t get a sitter (let’s face it, it’s pretty unlikely), have movie night with the other half over the holidays, maybe a meal deal with a bottle of wine. I know for us it often comes way down the list of priorities, but I need to remind myself how important it really is to do every now and again.

Let people know if you need to talk. Bottling things up won’t help. Make the most of your friends and family and tell them if you need a hand. Honestly, it’s not failing; it’s called being human. (And I have certainly been there and worn the T-shirt many times before, so you’re far from alone — honest.)

Use your online support network. We understand how it feels, and we’re probably feeling the same as you. Sometimes all we need is a quick chat with someone who gets it, and then we can get on with our day.

Acceptance can go a long way in helping us get through the holidays. Be happy your life is chaotic and always eventful; trying to see the funny side of things really can help. This is half the battle of feeling happy, as looking at others and wishing our lives looked like that does us no good at all (usually their life is never as perfect as it seems anyway).

If you feel like you’re having more bad days than good and the fog isn’t lifting, it could be worth seeing a doctor. Our mental health should not be taboo. I’m on antidepressants, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest to tell anyone who will listen! Because I’m important, too. In order to be there for my kids, I need to look after myself. I learned that the hard way. So please don’t suffer in silence and feel ashamed. Be proud of what you do on a daily basis and look at it as something you just need to do to fill up the tank when it’s running low.

Remember, no one’s life is perfect, folks. We all have our own challenges to deal with. So smile and remember you’re doing a great job!

Our kids are amazingly unique, and yes, life is challenging, especially at Christmas. But make the most of every day, whatever comes your way!

Hold your head up high in pride as our children continue to teach us a new way to view our world and show us how to love unconditionally, as only children can.

Follow this journey on A Slice of Autism.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 20, 2015
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