Parents of children with special needs live with a high level of stress. When stress becomes a constant in our lives, we must find ways to combat it and reduce it or else our health can suffer. But the conundrum for special needs parents is that given their responsibilities, it’s nearly impossible to find time to take care of themselves and focus sharply on stress reduction. And sometimes, trying to plan for a parental recess leads to more stress!

Parents are Stressed and Need a Break!

It’s not a stretch to say that autism parents are facing extreme challenges by the day, oft by the hour! Although some who don’t know autism personally may wonder what’s so hard about raising a kid with quirks and talents (a la Max Braverman from NBC’sParenthood), those in the ranks know that there’s demanding work involved. And it seems the older children with autism get, the harder the task before the parents or caregivers.

Whether facing autism or a myriad of other special needs, parents need serious breaks. It’s crucial for parents to give themselves time to recharge. A five minute adult time-out here and there is great, but neglecting to really take a break – a long, relaxing, spirit-restoring, battery-charging break – can tax your health. Parents of children with special needs don’t often schedule such a breather; if they happen, it seems to be by chance rather than by plan. It’s very important to plan a break the way you’d plan a doctor’s appointment or a holiday dinner. Your health depends upon it. And if you’re not one to give yourself permission to focus on you and only you, then consider this blog your ticket to stress relief.

stress relief

Photo credit: meg’s my name via / CC BY-NC-ND

Where Can You Go to Relax and Get Stress Relief?

There are a number of places around Sacramento where one can find some peace. This is not a comprehensive list; it might give you a few places to check out while you dip your toe in the water of planned relaxation.

Take a stroll around the lush grounds and cast your eyes upon the green trees, the beautiful memorials, and (in season) the rose garden. L and 15th Streets, Sacramento

Serene settings and exotic flavors await you. Locations at 9th St., S St., and K Streets.

Browse the racks of books and records while you let your mind wander. Immerse yourself in literature and music, and let it transform your mood. Five locations: Arden Way, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Roseville Square, Broadway, Sacramento.

Explore over 32 miles from Discovery Park to Folsom Lake, and get some exercise in the process!

Investigate some stimulus reducing therapy while floating in a personal tub of relaxing epsom salts. There’s nothing quite like it!  Locations in Roseville, Folsom, and Elk Grove.

Men and women alike can benefit from a personalized mani/pedi in a spa like setting. Enjoy cucumber water or tea while you pamper yourself with hot stone leg massage and coconut butter arm massage. And a plus: because it’s eco-friendly, there is no chemical odor! East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove

The website states it simply: Paint, Drink, Have fun. Sessions are low key, no pressure, with friendly instructors. Locations in Elk Grove and Rocklin.

  • If yoga is something you’ve been meaning to try, find a studio or gym offering classes and sign up! Some will offer a free visit, no strings attached. Or maybe check out a Bellyfit class (women only) where you can get a work out while calming your frayed nerves.

    stress relief

    Photo credit: kenteegardin via / CC BY-SA

In order to keep going, stay healthy, and provide well for your special needs child, you, as a special needs parent, need to take care of yourself. Not when it’s convenient. Not when a spare minute opens up. But routinely. Maybe weekly or monthly. It can be tough with child care issues or job responsibilities. It’s important though to focus on ourselves so we can be there for our precious children. Stress relief is attainable and special needs parents deserve some “me time!”

Find more resources in our Special Needs category

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