In the words of Parenting Impossible Host Annette Hines, “give yourself a break.” In this mini-podcast, Annette shares four tips special needs parents and caretakers should consider as they continue to navigate distance learning and new social distancing guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Find or Recreate Your Team

Think about one or two people in your life that can step in and allow you to take a physical break. Whether it’s a member of your church, a neighbor, friend or family member – a few hours to yourself can do a world of good. Be sure to do your research when it comes to receiving help from public agencies as well. Many of these organizations have extra money available, but you have to ask for it. If you need the extra financial support, reach out, and speak up.

2. Engage With Someone Who Can Help, Even If They Can’t Watch Your Child

Even though a family member or friend might live far away, that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on them for relief. Assign tasks like phone calls or research to people who are willing to help but can’t physically take care of your child.

3. Social Distance From Your Children

Find a public outdoor space where a family member or friend can keep an eye on your children for a few hours. Use that time alone to take a nap, meditate or read a book. Do something that makes you happy and allows you to decompress.

4. Cut Yourself A Break

You need to understand that nothing is going to be perfect! Don’t beat yourself up because you’ll never win that way. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, good nutrition, and exercise. Remember, you have to take care of yourself too.

Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.