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Kids on the Spectrum is now Living on the Spectrum

How to maintain your mental wellbeing as a tired parent.

Maintaining your resilience and wellbeing as a tired parent. is no easy task. According to Kathrine Peereboom, one of the biggest challenges for parents in this volatile world of COVID, the flu, and now interest rate rises and inflation, is maintaining your sanity and energy levels.

“Parents these days are finding life tough.  Not only are we having to support our family and kids through difficult times, we are also trying to maintain our relationship with our partner. Throw into this mix special needs kids and things become extra complicated and exhausting,” Ms Peereboom said.

How to maintain your mental resilience and health as tired parents. Mrs Peereboom in a bluue dress with her husband in a grey shirt and her 3 sons walking a bridge.
Mrs Peereboom and her family – Image supplied

Constant tiredness and exhaustion have dominated our lives, especially during COVID. Mrs. Peereboom, like many others, decided to change things. Making changes to her and her family’s diet, reading more, date nights, and getting back to basics in nature.

Mrs Peereboom runs two businesses, one being Spectrum Support, a national organisation committed to improving awareness and support for autistic Australians and those living with disability. Mrs Peereboom also established Australia’s first law enforcement autism training.

She is no stranger to being stretched to the limits as a working parent. With 3 sons on the autism spectrum, Mrs Peereboom shares her tips on improving resilience and wellbeing as a tired parent.

Diet changes

According to nutritionist Tracy Davies, “kids with Autism often have sensory challenges that lead them to avoid certain foods, have restrictions on what they eat, as well as poorly developed motor skills that make it difficult to sit through mealtimes”

It is therefore easy to fall in to the habit of not looking after ourselves as parents and carers. We can easily fall into bad habits ourselves while trying to support our kids. Eating their leftovers, indulging in fast food, or just not knowing how to cook multiple meals for a diverse range of tastes. Davies is a parent of a neurodivergent child, so she understands the daily struggles.

How to maintain your mental resilience and health as tired parents. Tracey Davies in a light pink shirt standing in a kitchen with a boy approx age 12 in a red shirt.
Nutritionist, Tracy Davies is no stranger to parenting a neurodivergent child.

Davies is the leading nutritionist at Be well Nourishment, a Melbourne-based clinic. She offers home visits that can be claimed via the NDIS for busy parents who want to assist their kids with restrictive eating and improve their family’s nutrition. You can also find a whole heap of family friendly recipes on the Be Well Nourished website.

Mrs Peereboom has also made some changes to family meals times noting a positive outcome for the whole family.

“The diet changes have made a huge difference to our energy levels and general overall health and wellbeing.”

Exercise and the outdoors.

There is no secret that exercise can have a huge positive impact on mental health. And, it doesn’t need to be over complicated. “People who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, and lower rates of mental illness”

It is recommended that adults get between 2.5 hours and 5 hours of exercise a week. However, any exercise is better than none. Going for a leisurely walk, or activities like stretching and yoga, can also have huge benefits on your mind and body. Even doing housework like sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming can give you a mild work out. 

Making time for partners

Mrs Peereboom has nailed date nights in our opinion.

“We have also added some fun into our lives. We now undertake a date night every week.  We don’t go out, we date in.  We spoil each other with a fantastic three course meal once a week,” Ms Peereboom said.

“There are no exceptions and no rain checks. We share the cooking and we light a candle at the table.  We put the boys to bed and have our dinner together”

It is easy to forget ourselves when caring for our kids. Intimacy gets lost among the noise and chaos of life. A simple dinner together can help forge partnerships and strengthen relationships. A positive for the entire family.

Reading and learning

“We are now reading every week.  So many people think reading a physical book is old school, but we have reconnected with paperback books and we are loving them,” Ms Peereboom said.

While physical books are amazing, there are also audio books, a great alternative to those who struggle to read or prefer to read on the go. Why not combine that walk with an audio book! there are also many free course that are available for carers, so why not upskill and start an online course?

But we agree, reading and learning is a great way to reconnect with yourself, provide self improvement and to relax and recharge.

Supports

So, if it time to improve your resilience and wellbeing as a tired parent and carer why not locate some supports in your area in our free online directory.

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