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CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You made it to another year without going insane from all the demands of life…well done! So now we’re here…what’s the plan?

happy new year

I know one of the things resting on my mind is what can I do this year to improve my sister’s quality of life.  What needs to be done…what is she going to do in the days…activities, classes? Will this be the year that she finds a job?

So many thoughts swirling around in my mind. So many worries and the year has just started. Obviously, this strategy of worry is not the way to go or else I may not make it to next year. So, with various persons wishing me a HAPPY NEW YEAR…in my mind, in respect to my life, what makes a new year happy?

Parents/Siblings…Make Time for Yourself This Year

happy new year

Guys, before I go any further, first thing’s first. If we do not take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of our loved ones at the level at which we should. When we are constantly beaten down, constantly frustrated, we will end up taking out some of that frustration on our loved ones.

It will also cause us to miss opportunities for them as your mind and your thoughts will be regularly engaged with whatever it is that’s frustrating you and since you haven’t taken the time to recharge your batteries, your mind will not be able to spot the not so obvious opportunities out there for your child/sibling…that painting class, that dance class, that job opening at the local cafe.

So, to make this new year an actual happy one, we need to ensure that we take some time for ourselves and this can mean different things for different people. For me, I love the beach, that’s my happy place. For others, it could mean gardening, travelling to a new country, learning a new skill like pottery or just having the house to yourself for the entire day and you just sleep. Whatever works for you…please ensure that you do it.

Set Goals…You & Your Loved One Sit Down and Decide on These

happy new year

So what is it that you want your loved one to accomplish this year? Job Experience? Well, have you found an employer willing to give them a chance…paid or voluntary?

If not, whilst you continue the job search, are there any classes they are interested in taking? Dance, art, cooking, photography? When will these classes start? How long will they last for?

If your loved one is doing the cooking class, what is the expected outcome at the end of the classes? Will they be able to prepare breakfast for themselves? Lunch? Dinner? Juices? If they opted for the dance class, what’s the goal? Weight loss? If so, how many pounds? If your loved one wants to be a photographer, is the plan to start a website after they have finished the classes to showcase their work and sell their photos online?

Whatever it is that your loved one wants to accomplish this year, help them by establishing their goals and break down these goals into smaller ones…possibly quarterly goals or even monthly goals, whatever works. Ensure that when you guys “tick off” a goal, you guys celebrate…doesn’t have to be an elaborate expensive celebration. Just keep it simple.

Advocacy or Support Groups

Caregivers, have you thought about being more active in things relating to Down’s Syndrome?  Maybe this is the year for that and this is something both you and your loved one can get involved in. Do you have a local foundation or parents support group that you could join?

Possibly you are a member of your local Down Syndrome foundation already, but considering your years of experience, maybe it’s time you took on a leadership role in this institution? Maybe, you have no local support group and you are just the person to start one.

This can prove to be a great way for you and your loved one to meet people and help others. This could be a way for your loved on to make friends and even find a partner (if that’s on the wish list for this year).

Happy New Year!


It’s always good to have the support of persons who can relate to what you are experiencing. HappyDowns will be here to provide whatever support we can to you, so please share with us your concerns, questions, suggestions. I wish you all the best for the new year and I do hope it will indeed be your happiest year yet!



  1. Thank you for your post, my son is autistic and as such has his own grueling set of special needs. It is refreshing to see someone spending some time discussing parent’s needs! We (parents) spend so much time focusing as the caregiver that we forget to think about taking care of ourselves as well. What does a happy new year look like for us? Great question, and I like your suggestions. I personally was so busy focusing on my son and family that I really didn’t even get to ring in the new year – just too tired.

    1. Hi Andy,
      Thank you for visiting HappyDowns. Yes we do tend to take care of everybody else and totally forget about ourselves, but we will be working on improving that for 2017! 🙂 You might not have gotten to ring in the new year but it’s not too late to do something for Andy 🙂

      Please feel free to visit us here at HappyDowns whenever you feel like. Even-though your son does not have Down Syndrome, we just might have something here that could be helpful to you or you could just want to add to our discussion. Whatever the case, you are welcomed!

      Take care.

  2. This is tough one for me and I’m single I can’t imagine being married. Whatever the case, I do need to slow down my problem is that I’m a hyperactive person. But I’ve been slowing down a lot and trying to make things work out in my life. You are right we do need to take time to take care of our own needs and I probably will start doing it more so than I was last year. I do plan on attending support groups! This is a great reminder of that!

    1. Hi Jose,
      I am happy you could find some encouragement here at HappyDowns. I wish you all the best for your goals for 2017 and I do you hope you will indeed take some more time for yourself this year!

  3. Hello and thanks for sharing, new years is the time that we make big big plans hoping for the best or that things would work in our favor. Goal setting is so important if we are to see change. You give a list of things of how goals should be set and how we ought to go about this and I agree with you because this is the only way that we are going to experience success this year and beyond Gods willing. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

    1. Hello Norman,
      Thanks for stopping by HappyDowns. Yes indeed goal setting is very important. I wish you all the best for 2017 and I hope you accomplish all the goals that you set for this year!

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