If you are one of the many single parents in this world, then more than likely you are not finding the time to take care of yourself the way that you need to. You will know that you lack in self care if you feel stressed, depressed, anxious, or moody.
Read further to gain useful insight into how you can easily take better care of yourself. This will help you feel better as well as ensure that your children feel secure, loved, and happy.
First and Foremost, Stay Positive
Naturally, we all get a little cynical when life seems rough, and single parents tend to feel the strain far more than others. However, you can quickly transform this way of thinking by opting to look for the positive in your life. As soon as you feel, negative thoughts arise, acknowledge them, but do not let them consume you. Once you begin to see what is initiating the negative thoughts, you can start to work to eliminate the problem.
Now that we’ve said that, let’s look at ways to improve single parents can enhance their self-care.
Self-Care Tips (and Gentle Reminders) for Single Parents
1 – Let Go of Your Fears
You can release fear by reminding yourself that you are a great parent. Practice positive affirmations and incorporate exercise into your daily life. These small changes will promote feel-good hormones such as adrenaline and endorphins, and you will find that you can sleep easier at night. Single parents often suffer from issues such as insomnia, and practicing better self care can help eliminate these disorders.
2 – Practice positive Affirmations
- I am more than enough.
- I’m loved by my children, family, and friends.
- I live a life of kindness, and I care for others.
- Life is full of amazing things, including me.
- Today will be the best day I have ever had.
- I am fearless.
It is important to remember that the way you speak to yourself affects the way that you feel. Therefore, remember to be kind to yourself as well as others. The more you practice being patient and loving with yourself, the more your attitude begins to change for the positive.
3 – Set realistic expectations
As a single parent, you have expectations for yourself, children, and other people. It may feel like your world is coming to an end when others do not meet your expectations. Try to stay calm when things are not working out and remember to breathe. You may want to consider meditating, doing yoga, or taking a walk to clear your mind.
It is always helpful to remember that there is a lesson to be learned from every event in your life. The way you handle the situation affects the way that you feel. Therefore, if you often fall apart during trouble, then take some time to relax and think about what is working. After all, the more you focus on the positive, the less the negative can affect you.
4- Face any emotional trauma
We have all felt the sting of letdown at some point in our lives, and this may leave emotional scars. Often you may not even be aware of what it is that triggers you to shut down. The next time you feel like your emotions are consuming you, take some time to reflect upon why you think this way.
If you avoid understanding what causes you to shut down, then you may find that you suffer even further. It is helpful to love and hug your children often and remember to laugh with them. They love you and look up to you, and how you handle a trying situation is how they, too, will learn to cope.
You can help them create healthy habits while healing from your own pain. This will allow them to be successful in life versus feeling unsure about the world around them. Remember to listen to them when they are trying to communicate with you, and always be honest with them. This will help them learn to trust others as well as communicate effectively.
5 – Share your thoughts in a journal
If you are in a rut that you can not get out of, then consider journaling your troubles away. This is not a quick fix, but rather, it is a method to help you release your feelings safely. You have the chance to say anything you want without backlash from others. You will also be able to look back upon your thoughts after the moment has passed.
When you look back on how you reacted and felt at a later date and time, you can gain clarity. You will be surprised at how much you can actually grow from understanding feelings of desperation or disappointment.
6 – Resolve relationship conflicts
If you are co-parenting with the other parent, then there is the chance that you face battle. You can begin to reduce these conflicts by attempting to compromise. Understandably this is not always an option, and it may require giving in a little more than you would genuinely like. However, it is pertinent that, at no point, your child bears the responsibility of passing messages between the two of you. The better you learn to handle conflict, the healthier you will feel about your situation.
Children have a way of reminding us that this form of self care is fundamental. They naturally want their parents to get along. So the best way to teach them how to resolve problems is to show them. Therefore, always put your best foot forward in life, and they will naturally follow.
7 – Don’t expect to be a perfect parent
Single parents often feel far more stressed than those in two-parent households. However, this does not mean that you are not a good parent. Just remember that children need boundaries, support, and affection. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, then focus on your self-care to help change your attitude and mindset. After all, children are like sponges, and they are soaking up everything they watch you do–including being too harsh on yourself.
8 – Make time to do the things that you love
Single parents have a hard time making time for themselves. This is understandable. However, this can lead to depression and exhaustion. Therefore, find the time to tap into your creative side, explore your interests, and spend time with loved ones. This will allow you to live a life that is far more fulfilling. This form of self-care allows your children to feel secure in their pursuits of discovering and exploring their interests as well.
If you have always wanted to go camping, then plan a little trip with your children. Allow them to enjoy your interests with you, and you will find that they are excited about sharing theirs with you. Consider doing things that you have never thought of. For example, take a cooking class, indulge in painting or drawing, or join a dance or exercise class. These are all beneficial ways to reduce tension as well as promote feelings of accomplishment. You will find that the better you feel about yourself, the more enjoyable life becomes.
9 – Learn to manage your daily stress
Try not to let the weight of each day consume you and take a little time each day to clear your mind. You can do this while you are taking care of household chores, sitting in silence, or getting ready for bed. Do not try to do everything on your own, and allow your children to help you when needed. This will ensure that they are capable of taking care of themselves as they grow older.
Single parents often feel that they must do everything on their own. Try to consider the fact that teamwork is a far more effective approach to life. Consider taking turns having sleepovers for your children. You will see that incorporating self care is far easier when you allow yourself the chance to take a break.
10 – Network with other single parents
If you know other single parents in your area, then consider forming a support group. Take turns carpooling, helping one another, talking about problems, and making an occasional potluck dinner. You can easily plan meals that everyone can take part in creating, and everyone will enjoy the fact that there is an excellent meal on the table with minimal effort.
Bonus: Other ways single parents can indulge in self-care
- Do not compete with other parents
- Spend time with your children
- Be patient with yourself
- Allow yourself to feel sad if you are sad
- Be your authentic self
- Have fun
- Soak in a warm bath
- Drink plenty of water
- Create boundaries
- Listen to advice from others, but don’t take everything to heart
Do not give up on your own goals and dreams, and remember to focus on the positive aspects of life versus the negative. Practice self care daily, and spoil yourself from time to time. After all, you are doing a great job, and a great job always deserves a reward. You do not have to splurge to show yourself appreciation, and sometimes just sitting down for a quiet moment is a reward in itself.