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Balance is Overrated

Rida Zaidi

We are now almost halfway through the second month of the new decade. With the start of the new year, many people make resolutions to improve their lives for the better in some way. As a special-needs parent, however, making resolutions might be the last thing on your mind. Besides the stress of looking after your autistic child, you may also be feeling overwhelmed by the struggle of daily life. You might be wondering, “Will I ever find balance?”

The answer is: no you will not.

According to the dictionary, balance is defined as “the even distribution of weight on a body so that it can stay upright and steady.” There will be some days on this journey when you will feel like you’re upright but very unsteady, and the next thing to come at you will topple you over. There will be days when you’re slowly, steadily crawling back into bed because you cannot stand being upright any longer. We are here to tell you that that is perfectly fine.

Instead of seeking balance, try to stay steady. The following strategies might be helpful:

1. Adjust your expectations: Sometimes you just don’t get done with all the things you wanted to do. At such times, reroute yourself and keep going.



2. Forget comparisons: There is no such thing as a normal life, even for people who do not have special needs children. There is no one way that life “should be” and your life is just as wonderful as anyone else’s.



3. Be kind to yourself: You are doing a much better job than you think you are. Do not judge yourself because you fell, congratulate yourself for getting back up. A shift in perspective can be lifechanging.


4. Be aware of the company you keep: Your energy is limited, and you do not have the luxury of wasting your time on people who bring you down and give you a tough time. Find people who will help you and lift you up and keep them close.



5. Be present: You cannot control the future and you cannot go back in the past. All you have is the present, so stay focused on where you are and what you are doing right now. Give up control of the thing you have no control over.



6. Find your higher purpose: Whether that is faith in God or deciding to use your life to serve others, having something larger than yourself to aspire towards can make it much easier to keep going when the going gets tough.



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