Ideas to nurture yourself


  • Start with the basics: a good diet (add some vitamins and stress support if necessary and / or possible), lots of water, and as much sleep as you can realistically get. If you're going to treat yourself, try to make it healthy – although an occasional piece of chocolate cake never hurt anyone, it's even better to feel happy about a fresh juice or smoothie!

  • Parenting an FASD individual can be isolating; parents of neurotypical children often don’t understand the issues you face every day and sometimes even your best friends will be unavailable. Find someone to talk to who understands what it’s like. This could be a counsellor, whānau member or another parent of a child with FASD.

  • It can be very helpful to join a local face-to-face support group – or online group if there are none locally. There is much research to show that support groups make a difference for caregivers. Find more information about this, along with a list of FASD support groups in Aotearoa here.

  • Meditation and mindfulness is proven to make life easier for millions of people worldwide. Go to our tab further down on this page for more information and resources. 

  • Think about what helps you to relax and prioritise it – this is not just for you, it will benefit your whole whānau! Have coffee with a friend, go for a walk, a run or to the gym, find a creative outlet, take a long bath with relaxing essential oils and a book, go out with your partner, attend a support group, hire a babysitter or share and swap childcare.

  • Many children with FASD become very stressed when the family leaves home to go on holidays. It can be hard for them – and therefore for everyone – to leave a familiar area and routine or stay in a strange hotel room. If you do decide to go away, plan carefully ahead and involve your tamariki in discussions about what to expect.
    Click here for our holiday tips. 

  • If at all possible, arrange for regular respite breaks for you and/or your partner, even if just for a ‘date night’. Hire a babysitter or respite worker who understands your child, and train him or her about FASD and the importance of routine.

  • Take time to laugh. Watch a funny movie or video, listen to a hilarious podcast. Think about the funny side of some of the things your kids do – and remind them about them!

  • Music can sometimes magically change the mood for everyone. If the vibes are going downhill, try to remember to put on some relaxing or fun music. 

  • Try to look at the big picture. You are doing the very best job you can.

  • Think about all the things that you love and admire about your children. Write a list and stick it on the fridge! Then ask them what they love and admire about YOU and add it in.

  • Continue to educate yourself. Knowledge is power – and what we know about FASD is changing all the time!