In the back to school shuffle, don't forget about self care
Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary, so please put yourself on your 'To Take Care Of' list too, somewhere near the top.By Kathy Hooven | August 28, 2019
This blog is by Kathy Hooven. Follow Kathy Hooven's blog, The AWEnesty of Autism.
Ahhh...the school year has started. I don’t know whether to celebrate or cry. I love the routine-less routine of summer, but, another part of me is craving the routine that the school year brings. This year though, there is a subtle change in the quickly approaching fall air. This school year routine will not be routine at all. This is my autistic son’s last year of high school. Next year, he will be heading off to college (breathe deeply into a paper bag here). This year, will be filled with lots of “lasts” and this mama bird is going to need to indulge in a little self-care as I prepare for my bird to leave the nest.
Sometimes that self-care will be an hour at the gym, a glass of wine, a night out with girlfriends and when those things won’t do, crawling into my bed scrolling the Netflix line up and pulling the heaviness of a weighted blanket up to my chin. My son was recently gifted a weighted blanket and as soon as he tried it he said, “I find deep pressure very satisfying, but, not in July”. July is a little warm for any kind of blanket for my kid who runs hot, so I thought I’d try the weighted blanket. I think we are going to need two. As soon as I felt the weight of the blanket snuggling me in, ironically, I felt the weight of the world leave me. No wonder many autistic individuals get a sense of calm under this weight. It’s the deep pressure hug we all need when the world feels too big or the future seems too unknown.
I know this transition period into adulthood for my son is something neither he nor I have ever navigated before and we are going to need support, patience, understanding and maybe a little time under our own individual weighted blankets (and a glass of wine for yours truly).
So to all you parents out there with the start of the school year blues and the uncertain future looming overhead, don’t forget when you are doing everything in your power to make sure your son or daughter has a happy, safe and successful school year, don’t forget to also do what you can for YOU. Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary, so please put yourself on your “To Take Care Of” list too, somewhere near the top.