New Series: 31 Days of Self Care for Special Needs Moms

parents with special needs

Where Have I Been?

As my regular readers may have noticed, it was a busy summer and I took some time out to think about the direction of this blog. My heart has always been to encourage special needs moms and those impacted by chronic illness or disability themselves.

Still, sometimes I didn’t know what to write about. I was inspired by 31 Days of Self Care at SandraPeoples and the #Write31Days community to devote the month of October to the topic of self-care. (I may not be able to write a blog post every day but I can at the very least create a graphic on crazy days!)

As special needs moms, we often come dead last on the priority list. This is unfortunate because by neglecting our own wellness, we could very well be setting the stage for our own health problems down the road. I have my own sneaking suspicions (not scientific) that my dystonia may have happened after years of unrelenting stress and not having the know-how and tools to manage it.

Day One: Goal Setting

So for today, I’m going to talk about setting goals. This is an important life skill that I, unfortunately, didn’t begin to truly comprehend until middle age.

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For a long time (with the exception of homeschooling which I did try to plan) I prided myself on being a free spirit and I usually flew by the seat of my pants. There was no rhyme or reason to my days. As a result, I was stressed out and yelled at the kids too much.

I didn’t realize that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. That being said, I’ve learned to give the first time in the morning to filling up my cup and planning my days.

My Three Morning Goal Setting Habits

Quiet time. For me, it’s sitting down with my coffee at my desk and logging into SheReadsTruth. Sometimes I’ll put on a little background music. My days are remarkably smoother when I do this instead of waking up to the Facebook drama du jour and getting caught up in it. Now just to be honest…there are some days I am not physically able to sit at the desk because of my back pain.

My mind doesn’t want to focus. What I did was create a Facebook Interest List of faith-related topics. On my brain fog days, this works well for me as I can just look at an inspiring graphic or prayer.

Planning. After years of paper scraps and apps, I started using old-fashioned planners a few years ago. This year I’ve started using a Passion Planner and it’s working very well for me. I bought the academic year edition since as any mom knows, the year really begins in August. Since I’m so visual I use gel pens to write things down and some stickers here and there.

It has goals and focuses on the weekly spread. Writing things down really helps me.  But some things are never really set in stone so I use Post-It notes for flexibility. Mine isn’t Instagram-worthy but I do feel more organized with it.

Here’s a copy of two of the blank pages. (There’s also plenty of room for brainstorming)

passion planner

Exercise. On my good days, of course. I’ve been doing yoga for several years and it’s been amazing for keeping me at least moderately fit and calming down my monkey mind.  I do have some struggles with weight and my blood pressure has been creeping up so I’ve gone back to Leslie Sansone. I like them because they are fuss-free and the choreography isn’t too difficult, plus I feel like I’ve genuinely had a workout.

This post is not meant to pressure anyone. I understand my readers have a variety of struggles and not everything is done every day. Taking these simple steps when I can has helped me to set priorities and brought a measure of peace to my days.

Do you have an easy or hard time setting goals? What works for you?

  • February 27, 2022