Taking time out for you

It was my absolute pleasure to give a talk at the excellent South Hampshire Branch of the National Autistic Society NAS South Hampshire Branch home (shantsnas.org.uk) recently on the importance of taking time out for ourselves. Of course it’s important for everyone, but especially for parents of children with autism and other additional needs because we usually tend to put ourselves at the end of the queue.

But it’s just like when we finally head off on our summer hols on the plane and they demonstrate the importance of putting our oxygen mask on before that of our children. It’s the same in our day to day lives because when we’re feeling stressed, our primitive brain senses danger and takes over, so we tend to feel more stuck in old behaviour patterns…and see the worst in everything. Which is not a great place to be.

But when we take time for ourselves to do more of what we love doing (in my case it’s being with my dog Cara, my favourite people, reading, choir and jigsaws in no particular order!), we’re more likely to be in our thinking brain which is where we’re calm, where we can find solutions to our problems and where we can see the positives and appreciate the good bits in our lives.

So take time out to do more of what you love – you’ll not only feel happier and calmer but the world will seem a better place and you’ll be a good role model for everyone around you too!

PS And here’s a picture of Cara taking time out just for her – what a great role model!