01 Jun 2020

Counselling for parents of children with a disability

Raising a child with a disability or health condition can be tough on a family. If you are the parent of a newly diagnosed child or even if you have more experience, feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and sometimes depression are not uncommon.

As children with disabilities and complex needs require lots of care, attention and love, parents and caregivers can neglect their own mental health and wellbeing. There are only so many hours in a day!

It’s absolutely crucial to try and take time for your own self-care to manage your own mental health and maintain a happy family environment for all family members.

Our qualified and experienced counsellor can help with strategies for self-care to improve and maintain your wellbeing. Your personal and family situation will be unique and tailored advice should be provided.

Here are some ideas that you can try to reduce stress and anxiety and maintain or improve your own mental health.

  1. Take at least 10 minutes each day to gather yourself and take a break. During this time, take some deep breaths, have a cuppa in the garden and listen to the birds or do whatever works for you to re-set and re-charge.
  2. If you’ve never tried mediation there are some great beginners, guided meditations on YouTube. Some find that a meditation first thing in the morning can improve their mindset for the day or just before bed, it can help with getting a good night’s sleep.
  3. Reach out to your support network if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just having a bad day. This might be family, friends or more formal supports like a counsellor. Try to talk it through with someone who understands what you are going through as the parent or carer of a child with a disability and high support needs.
  4. Find something for you and try to allocate time in your weekly schedule for just you. This could be a weekly yoga class, your favourite walk, or it could be 30 minutes to call a friend and have a chat. By putting it in your schedule you are acknowledging how important this time for you is and it will be more likely that you’re able to take the time out.

For other ideas on ways that you can support your own wellbeing, our counsellors are here to help. We understand the unique challenges of caring for a child with a complex disability. If you would like to know more about Xavier Counselling register your interest here and we’ll be in touch.