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Self-Care and your Mental Health

Self-care describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. As simple as it sounds, many of us pay little attention to self care. When you pay attention to your own well-being, you're not considering your needs alone. You're recharging so that you can be the best version of yourself for everyone around you. 

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Self-care is not an indulgence. 

Meaningful self-care includeS making mindful changes to patterns of thoughts and behaviors that do not contribute to your wellbeing.

Self-care is not selfish.

When you make time for yourself and get sufficient rest and exercise, you feel more energetic and will be able to do more for yourself as well as for those around you.

Self-care is not a

one time experience.

Looking after yourself is on ongoing practice in building resilience to face hardships and in preventing burnout.

Self-care does not

have to be time consuming.

It does not require you to take a huge amount of time from your busy day.

Get Immediate Help in a Crisis

Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room. 

TeleHealth - TeleTherapy is being offered by many health providers. Reach out to your primary care doctor for recommendations.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454 
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.


Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741 
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.


Resources in your area: APD Resource Directory


Mental Health and well-being is an important part of everyday life. The way you think, feel, or react can have a huge impact on your day and overall quality of life. 

Here are a few helpful tips for you to consider.

1. Practice healthy food choices.
2. Include moderate activity in your routine.
3. Develop a healthy sleeping habit, schedule a nap in your day if you’re able to.
4. Be your own advocate, communicate with your family or doctor how you’re feeling.

Treatment for mental health issues usually consists of therapymedication, or a combination of the two. Treatment can be given in person or through a phone or computer (telehealth).


It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start when looking for mental health care, but there are many ways to find a provider who will meet your needs.

Your primary care doctor can be an important resource, providing initial mental health screenings and referrals to mental health specialists. 

Research suggests that CBT and mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) are effective in diminishing anxiety and depression symptoms, decreasing rumination, and improving overall mood. MBSR trains individuals to be mindful by incorporating exercises such as walking meditation and yoga.


Parenting in general can be stressful and caring for a child with autism can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have adequate support. Without enough help, parents may be headed toward caregiver burnout, which negatively affects everyone. Self-care strategies will help you take care of yourself, so that you can then better care for your loved ones.

1. Me Time: 15–30 minutes: Carve out even just 15 minutes every day or so to do something that is relaxing. Whether it’s reading a magazine, having a cup of favorite coffee, or tea or talking on the phone to a friend, it’s super important to recharge, reset and rally for the next challenge.

2. Exercise works: It’s good for your body, you improve your mood, your sense of well-being, and you feel better overall.

3. Find your tribe: Find a meaningful group of friends that can support you where you are at now. Support groups are a great way to meet parents who are on a similar journey.

4. Accept help: Understand that you can go the extra mile for you child but you don’t have to do it alone. Support groups are a great way to meet parents who are on a similar journey.

5. Make time for a hobby or another activity you enjoy at least once a week. A creative outlet will nurture your soul.

Go to "Adults with Autism Page" for more helpful resources and information

as well as the "Corona Supports Page"

University of South Florida - Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD): Autism & Mental Health Issues Guidebook

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Self-Care Activities for Families

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