Stress relief for parents of kids with special needs is essential. But finding time for stress relief can seem impossible. Recently the members of a Key Ministry support group, who are all parents dealing with the stress and trauma of raising kids with special needs, shared their best stress relief tips. This list is a heart offering from group members who want to encourage you on your caregiving journey and contains something for every stressed parent of a child with special needs.
Stress Relief for Parents of Kids with Special Needs
- Join a support group. One mom described a support group that meets monthly for a potluck meal. The parents talk while the kids play in the gym. Other parents mentioned online support groups which allow them to participate from home and eliminate the need for childcare.
- Pray. Several parents mentioned prayer creatively woven into daily activities. My favorite was a mom who prays while she knits.
- Read Scripture. One mom especially recommended this list of Psalms for the Anxious in times of stress.
- Online Bible study. Find a study group filled with positive people who will encourage, forgive, and hold you accountable without becoming legalistic or judgmental.
- Massage. Several people suggested getting a monthly massage. I didn’t understand what a stress reliever this could be until my sister gave me a gift certificate a couple years ago. Now I’m hooked and look forward to the one time a month when someone cares for me, and I just lay there.
- Hire a housekeeper. “Hire a housekeeper! Even if it’s only once a month,” a mom said, “It’s the best money ever spent.” Several other parents seconded that idea.
- Do a crossword puzzle. Not necessarily the Sunday crossword from the New York Times. Just something with enough challenge to keep you interested, but simple enough to avoid frustration.
- Spend time with a friend. A mom explained how easily this idea can be accomplished. “Even if it’s crashing on their couch talking. Sometimes I just need a bit of time away from home.”
- Grab good coffee after work. I love how this mom describes this indulgence. “Sometimes after a stressful day at work, I go to Starbucks and get my favorite drink and just sit in the car in silence before picking my kiddo up from daycare. Those few moments of just me and coffee sometimes make all the difference.“
- Go to coffee with a friend. Which, as you can see, is a variation on #7 and #8.
- Make a pot of special tea. A lovely adaptation of #8 & #9 for non-coffee drinkers.
- Get my nails done. Like a massage because someone cares for you instead of you caring for everyone else.
- Go somewhere alone. Go to a park and just sit. Go to a movie. Or volunteer to run errands all by yourself. There’s nothing like being alone in a crowd while completing tasks that makes your life easier.
- Plan weekend girlfriend trips. One mom said she takes weekend trips with girlfriends once in a while, or to visits people she can stay with who are good company.
- Outside time. Plan a walk or go for a bike ride with adults only.
- Read a book. Just for fun, not for information about your child’s condition.
- Listen to books on CD. One mom said she combines service and pleasure by sewing newborn baby blankets while listening to an audiobook. This is a great stress reliever for me, too. Listening to an audiobook while doing housework or cleaning makes the most menial task fun.
- Plan an early bedtime. With your spouse, of course.
Your Stress Relief for Parents of Kids with Special Needs Suggestions?
What are your best stress relief for parents of kids with special needs suggestions? Make this list better than ever by leaving your tips in the comment box.
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