As an autism mom, you spend most of your days waking up early, getting ready, getting the kids out of bed and dressed, making breakfast, driving them to therapy, homeschooling, etc… the list is endless with things you do during the day. You likely haven’t even thought about spending some time with yourself now and again.
A relaxing bath
A quick way to pamper yourself is to take a relaxing bath. On a cold night, there is nothing better than running a hot bath with milk or bubble bath, pouring youself a glass of wine and bringing in your favorite book or film on your laptop. You can lie back, enjoy the warmth and just let your stress slip away. This only happens at my house after the kids are asleep. When Logan was much younger, I would have to put his favorite movie, Land Before Time, on the portable dvd player and he would sit on the floor in the bathroom with me. I had to do the same to take a shower. I don’t know how relaxing it was but it made me feel better.
Pamper your face
After a hot and steamy bath or shower is a great time to do a face mask. Start off with one such as a charcoal mask which will clear your pores and allow your skin to feel invigorated. You can then tone the face, then add a serum, and finish off with a hydrating moisturizer to leave skin feeling silky and soft. Your pores will love it and you will feel so much more relaxed once you have done it all. You don’t need to have taken a shower to do one. Place a warm washcloth on your face for a minute or two then mask away. DISCLAIMER: seeing you in a face mask may distress your child with autism. Either be sure he sees you putting it on or do it when he is away or sleeping.
Do your nails
Depending on what relaxes you, painting your nails can be a wonderfully cathartic activity. Choose your favorite color and spend some time painting a couple of coats onto your fingers and your toes. You can add a little over the top and then you will have a wonderful nail design which makes you feel more feminine and put together. Don’t have time to wait for it to dry? Try Jamberry or ColorStreet for a quick application with fun colors. Sometimes having my nails done and makeup on helps me feel better about myself on hard days.
Watch a movie
Got a movie which your husband doesn’t want to watch with you? Have him take the kids to therapy one day a month then take the opportunity to watch it. The beauty of having the house to yourself for once means that you also have control over the TV. Put on your favorite film or series and just relax. This always makes me take a nap but I eventually get to watch the whole movie.
Play some games
Playing games on your phone or on a console can also be really relaxing for some people. I am not one of those people but my husband certainly loves it. You could play a console game such as Real Racing, Crash Bandicoot or visit the Final Fantasy 15 app website and play that instead. Gaming can be great for the brain and it can also allow you to wind down after a stressful day.
Eat great food
Do you have a favorite meal or take out which you never get to have on your own? Why not eat some amazing food this evening by ordering in your favorite pizza, curry or making your all-time favorite pasta dish? It is a great way to spend the evening. Try something fun like a Hello Fresh box or whip up something only you like. Cooking is my jam so it relaxes me to be in the kitchen whipping something up. Cleaning it is a different story altogether.
I hope you see that taking time for yourself doesn’t have to be exotic nor time consuming. It is however non-negotiable. Every mom needs time to chill out and refresh, regardless of whether their child has a disability. Unfortunately, moms usually put themselves last on the list. A mom who takes care of herself is a better asset for her family. Let’s look at some easy ways to get this done.