It’s important for everyone to practice self care in order to cope with daily stressors and troubling times. For the parents and caregivers of individuals with IDD, however, self care activities are an absolute must for well being and resilience. To make the most of “you” time, it’s best to choose practices that help you feel the most refreshed and are a good fit for your personality. Here are just a few fun self care activities that parents and caregivers can try. Find the ones that work best for you!
1. Get outside. Whether you’re alone or with a friend or loved one, find a relaxing corner of nature to sit, walk, or exercise in. This could be a garden, park, field, riverbank, or even a city fountain. Natural environments can help reduce stress, which offers many mental and physical health benefits.
2. Take time to connect with your spouse, friends, or family. Plan regular and irregular “dates” to unwind and enjoy something with someone you like or love. This might be a weekly movie with your partner or spouse, or a night out with friends you haven’t seen in months. Make sure the activity is relaxing, fun, and rejuvenating—not extra work.
3. Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage. Many people view trips to the spa as a luxury indulgence, but loosening knots in your muscles is important for pain relief, relaxation, and general well being. You may also feel less frazzled and more “put together” if your nails are looking neat and well-groomed.
4. Attend a fun or stimulating event. If you haven’t been able to engage with your interests lately—or even if you just need to get out of the house—consider attending an event that will refresh your brain. This could be a local festival, concert, lecture, pottery class, wine tasting, or a seasonal event, all of which are great antidotes for monotony.
5. Explore a new book, movie, music artist, or TV show. Reading and other forms of entertainment offer multiple benefits for your mental health. They offer a healthy distraction and can boost your mood, but they can also help you think more deeply about character development, relationships, experiences, and life trajectories.
Progressive Lifestyles Supports Parent and Caregiver Self Care
Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is dedicated to providing innovative support services for people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County, Michigan.
A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the “Culture of Gentleness” model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued while maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions. We support wellness for all of our employees and encourage self care for family caregivers.