Caring for a child with cerebral palsy & looking after yourself

Cerebral palsy is not one condition with a single cause. There are three main types of cerebral palsy (and a fourth ‘mixed’ classification), with the causes ranging from abnormal development in the brain tissue whilst in utero, to negligence on behalf of medical staff during pregnancy, birth, and during aftercare (see cerebral palsy lawyer in Bridgeport for more details).

The range of motor function disabilities linked to cerebral palsy could mean your child requires very little assistance with daily tasks, or that your child has severe mobility and communication issues (meaning much of your time is spent in the capacity of carer). Although you will naturally wish to make yourself available to meet all of the challenges linked to raising a child with cerebral palsy, it is important to remember that finding time to recharge your own batteries will improve your own outlook – which in turn will mean you are able to bring new energy to caring for your child.

Plan the week ahead

Organisation means less stress. Spending an hour on a Sunday evening with a laptop and a notepad is one way to discover suitable daily activities and find day trip destinations for the entire week ahead. This means you will feel less rushed in deciding what to do each day – which can become an issue where the behavioural problems caused by your child’s cerebral palsy results in impatience and stress.

Get up early

If your current daily routine is based on the ‘get up and go’ approach, you most likely feel a little tired and a little raw in the lead up to midday (if not beyond). By switching your sleeping pattern to an earlier bedtime and an earlier rise time, you will be able to make time for yourself in the morning to ease into your day. Have some toast. Make some tea. Watch a news channel. Whatever you want. This will steady you mentally for the day ahead.  

Meditate on things to be positive about

There’s a saying in psychology circles that goes something like ‘be careful what you tell yourself, your brain is listening’. When you think negative thoughts, your brain releases stress hormones. When you tell yourself positive things, your brain releases the so-called ‘happiness’ hormone (dopamine). Meditating on positive thoughts means that you will achieve a much more accepting and joyful outlook.   

By creating a little “you” time, you will be refreshed and empowered to take on whatever may come your way.

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