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Take Care of Yourself ... First

Take Care 300x222You love your bright, creative, energetic, caring child. And yes, he also happens to have ADHD which often comes with these fantastic characteristics. However, there is the other side of ADHD. The side that results in constant calls from the school, doctors appointments, arguments, tears, and nights with endless amounts of homework. This is often the source of many challenges and frustrations. You can sometimes feel simply overwhelmed and exhausted. When these feelings occur, it is important that you remind yourself how important it is for you to take care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself when you are constantly focused on taking care of others can be difficult. You feel if you spend that 60 minutes at the gym or indulge in a much-needed massage, you are somehow being selfish. It important to remind yourself that taking care of yourself is not selfish, it is necessary. If you do not take care of yourself emotionally and physically, then you will not have the physical and mental resources to take care of others.

It's been so long since you have thought about time. What to do?

Walk it off. Studies have shown that simply taking a walk in nature has a host of mental health benefits. Walking outside can improve your health and your mood.
Find a parent support group. Look in your area for an ADHD support group. It may be a good experience for you to chat with other parents who are having similar experiences.
Eat healthy. Eating clean foods and avoiding processed or fast foods can improve your overall health, energy levels, and clarity of mind.
Don't overschedule. You say, Yes, I will make the cupcakes for the class party. Yes, I will drive the carpool for soccer. Yes, I can organize the field trip. Did you forget there literally are only 24 hours in a day? You cannot do it all and take care of yourself. Overscheduling causes unnecessary stress and fatigue. Practice saying, Sorry, I cannot do that this time.
Get enough sleep. It is recommended that adults get at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night. Minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress.
Schedule some leisure time. Why leisure time? Bradley hospital reports leisure time, An opportunity to examine personal values, to focus on what is important to you. It gives you the balance you need to deal with your non-leisure activities.

Take a breath. Take time for yourself. And all your loved ones will benefit.

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