Professional Quality of life Scale (PROQOL)
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Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the easiest and most effective choices that caregivers can make for themselves. Lack of sleep makes caregivers want to hide from difficult children. It causes more of a wincing reaction than a “I am available for you” reaction to their children. Sleep is critical to success. caregivers should routinely get a full eight hours of sleep. While this goes against the grain of society, specialized care giving is almost impossible to do with inadequate sleep. Professionals will need to depend on their own regulation capacities in order to help regulate not just the child, but the parents. Professionals who are working in the field should also work on their sleep. It helps keep them positive in therapy or casework.
Find a Pleasurable Hobby
Caregivers do well to maintain some hobby or interest that has special value just to them. It should not be involved with a child’s success or lack of success. It is a pleasant escape that satisfies the caregiver. A caregiver with a difficult child began gardening. Another parent began quilting. Yet another began kickboxing. The appeal of the hobby is that it feeds the creativity of the participant. It removes the caregiver from constantly fulfilling a role. They are nurturing themselves, which is part of good self-care.
Give yourself margins of Time and Energy
Parents do best with high-stress children if they allow themselves margins of time to work within. Parents need to supply extra energy with scant warning at times. They will need to rework schedules–putting in extra minutes and extra space for is their children have an issue. It is a knack to protect this time without guilt. One parent described it in a matter-of-fact way: “I told my neighbor that I could not pick up her daughter daily, even though it is on the ways to the kid’s school. It would put daily pressure on me to make that stop on time, since I could only succeed if everything went perfectly. I wouldn’t be a good friend to myself if I placed that burden on myself.”
Find quiet time to process
When parents have new and difficult events in their lives, lots of information has to be processed. Problematically, the old ways in which we have defined our lives– safety, beliefs, roles, may have to change. Most people need to do a revision of their world view in order to fit the new circumstances of their lives. They need quiet time in which to do this thinking. Paradoxically, almost all anxious children are noisy. It is critical for parents, especially stay-at-home mothers, to have an hour a day of simple quiet at their disposal. This time should not be spent running errands, but instead should be quiet time to play or process information. One woman walks her dog or plays with him on the porch. A couple takes turns reading aloud while they sit in the hot tub.