How To Get That Self Care Time You Need?

How To Get That Self Care Time You Need?

I’ve mentioned I’ve been struggling the last few days. Well, the last few years really, but the last few days have seen a drop in my mental well being. I took a bit of time out yesterday, which helped a bit. The biggest problem a lot of people have is, how to get that self care time that you need?

We are all busy, and leading hectic lifestyles in our own way. Whether it’s being a carer for children with “disabilities” like me. Or doing that whilst trying to work full time, which used to be me. Just looking after children, whilst juggling a career. Even if it’s just your career you’re focused on, and it’s taking up all your time. It doesn’t really matter. We all need to look after ourselves, and so many of us don’t.


I have been taking anti depressants for a long time now, at varying dosages. They keep me functioning, especially at the darkest times. But they are not a cure. Nothing has a positive effect like self care does, yet it is so easy to neglect when you are in a negative frame of mind.

So how to get that self care time that you need? I spent a long time prioritising everyone else’s well being. To the detriment of my own health. Last year I realised I can’t look after everyone else if I’m not well myself. I’ve made some progress on that front, but there’s still a long way to go.

Prioritise self care

The single biggest thing anyone can do, is make the decision to prioritise self care. There will be slips, there have been plenty for me. We are all human after all. But you have to keep reminding yourself, why you made it a priority in the first place. For me it was to be in the best possible place, to be able to look after and fight for the help my kids needed. Everyone has there own reasons, you just need to find it.

What you do in your self care time, is entirely up to the individual. There are the popular recommendations like go for a walk, listen to music, have a bubble bath etc…Whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed. Find the time for it.

Couple time on Tuesday

Tuesday was a rare occasion where myself and Natalie actually got to spend time together, and sort of go out. After taking lily to school, we had a spare hour before we had to go to an appointment. I lay on the bed and put my favourite meditation/stress relief video on YouTube. Click here to see it. I can’t relax in the quiet, my brain just refuses to switch off. Natalie was putting these types of video on, the we tried it for Jack.

He found the one I now use the majority of the time. He uses them occasionally, he has to be in the mood and want to. For me, I like to both close my eyes and listens, and also watch the video. It’s certainly helped me find that time to relax, and be able to just switch off. Which is so desperately needed.

The appointment was with Jacks doctor and CAMHS. It was basically just a check up appointment, and it went fairly well. Afterwards we went to the local shopping centre, to get Lily a costume for World Book Day. She wanted to go as a pirate, so that’s what we got.

Making the most of opportunities

We had enough time to get dinner out, which was nice. It’s something we try and do fairly regularly. Opportunities for nights out are few and far between. So dinner dates while the kids are at school is our social life, but it’s better than nothing. I also got some Krispy Kreme doughnuts to bring home, which made Jack & Lily happy.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a doughnut, so I was happy too. There’s lots of things for Natalie and I to be doing at the moment. There always is, but today we made the most of the time we had during school hours. The result is I feel much better for it.

I Really Struggled To Get Through Sunday

I Really Struggled To Get Through Sunday

The usual routine on Sundays is to go to my parents. Yesterday both Jack and Lily said they were to tired to go. There are some reasons that I will go into for that. Personally though, I really struggled to get through Sunday.

My own mental health has been on the rocks for some time. Some days are better than others. Yesterday, for no reason that I can explain was a bad one. I just never had any energy, and I felt stressed. I was really down, and I couldn’t pick myself up.

Change of routine

I think Jack going out on Saturday was a mistake. The week at school tires him out, and he usually spends most of Saturday in his bedroom. Not being able to do that, and the change of routine definitely effected him this weekend.

Saturday evening was difficult, and it continues into Sunday. He said he was too tired to go to grandmas to see Mack. Given how much he loves to go and see that dog, it was obvious things weren’t right. Lily said she was too tired as well. So we didn’t go. The first half of the day, the kids got on really well. They kept each other amused playing Roblox, and watching TV together.

Personally I was really struggling for any motivation. I was feeling low and couldn’t pick myself up. I wasn’t in a position to go out for a walk to clear my head, with both kids at home. Another thing I like to do is listen to music through headphones. So I can just zone out a bit, but I couldn’t find them. Turns out they were spinning around the washing machine.

Changes come to boiling point

In the afternoon Lily fell of a chair and hurt her back. Nothing serious, but it made her cry. That set Jack off. I had sensed he was ready to explode all weekend, and here it was. I just didn’t have the energy for it. He stomped about and slammed some doors, and in the end his mum calmed him down and got him to talk to her. While I took Lily upstairs to watch TV.

I really wasn’t much use at all. To deal with Jack in that situation takes so much physical & mental energy. You have to be so careful what you say, and at best he will want to push, pull and squeeze you. I don’t know why I didn’t have it in me yesterday, but I just didn’t. Luckily Natalie was there to step in.

Afterwards Jack was much happier. Like he had released all that frustration that was trapped inside him. I sat with him watching Pokemon, while we finished his T Rex document. Thank you to everyone who has responded to his question. It will make him really happy.

Self care

I got the kids off to school this morning, and went back to bed. I was still feeling the same, but I’m happy to say after a couple of hours to relax. Things are looking up and I’ve have perked up a bit.

Self care is so important, and yet so easy to neglect. This is true for everyone, but seems especially true for carers. I see so many people struggling the same way I do. When you have to put so much time and effort into your children. Just to get them through the day. It often feels like there’s nothing left for yourself.

Getting free time to do the things that make you happy are difficult. The only time you get is when the kids are at school. Until recently because I’ve been off work sick, I spent nearly all that time at work. You have appointments and meetings all over the place. I think we have 3 in the next couple of weeks for Jack & Lily. Never mind appointments for myself and Natalie.

We have been fortunate over the years, that my parents would babysit for us. But I don’t like to ask to often. Especially with how difficult Jack can be, and how big he now is. But I know people are doing it all on their own with absolutely no support. How those people do it I really don’t know. I have so much respect for them.

I keep saying I will look after myself better, and I mean it when I say it. But it’s not easy. I will keep on trying, there’s no other option.

The Importance of Self Care

The Importance of Self Care

I’ve felt pretty down today, so I wanted to talk about the importance of self care. I guess it’s a bit of mental fatigue. Whilst it’s not been the most challenging week we’ve ever had. The pressure of filling out the DLA form right, has probably made it more mentally tough than I realised.

Self care is important. “How can you look after your kids to the best of your ability. If you are not looking after yourself?” That was said to me last year. It really struck a chord. Which I now know was the intention. As I wasn’t listening to anything else. My depression. That I had been managing quite well for a couple of years. Had seriously got out of control.

I felt like I was letting everyone down. But most of all my kids. Who relied on me so much. I was signed off work. The family unit was falling apart. I couldn’t cope with everything that was happening. I was needed at home. That was my priority, and thankfully my doctor and my work both agreed.

We have made a lot of progress since then. Jack and Lily are both doing much better. But depression doesn’t just go away. It’s a work in progress. When you put so much time and effort into your kids. It is easy to forget about yourself. Before Christmas it felt like a week never went by. Without a meeting or appointment for one of Jack or Lily.

I’m using this as a way to get the thoughts in my head out. But I know I also need to find time for myself. To do the things that make me happy. If you are a couple it’s even harder to find time together.  But you carry on and do the best you can. When you do get the opportunities. Try and make the most of them.

At this point of writing. Lily hurt her arm whilst playing. Her crying set Jack off, and today it was worse. I had a feeling this was coming. Which could explain my general mood today. Natalie managed to calm him down. Now I feel like just going to bed, but my football team are playing tonight. So I will watch the game. It’s 50/50 whether that will cheer me up though.

Dad Does Autism