Being a single parent can sometimes mean putting everyone else before yourself, and neglecting your own well-being in the process. This can lead a single mom to feel burnout and can be detrimental for you and your children’s well-being. To avoid getting to this point, take some time each day or even each week to schedule out time to take care of yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything that’s too time-consuming or requires a babysitter, but it is important to practice small acts of intentional self-care. Follow some of these ideas to help avoid feeling burned out!
1. Get Active
Although it may feel like you’re already always running around to get everything done in a day, exercising is a great way to relieve stress and take care of your health. You don’t have to fit in an hour-long gym session or do anything too strenuous. Being active can mean anything from taking a long walk around the neighborhood with your kids, planning a family hike, or even completing an at-home workout routine while they’re napping or doing homework. There are plenty of ways single moms can fit working out in their schedule. This will allow you to de-stress and feel good in the process.
2. Be Mindful
With a hectic day of work, completing errands, and taking care of the kids it may seem impossible to slow down to make time for mindfulness. But making time to be mindful and taking a step back is essential to avoiding single mom burnout. Being mindful isn’t necessarily about positive thinking, but it’s about focusing on your feelings and what’s causing them. It involves pausing before responding with anger to think and communicate, and even journaling each day to get all of your thoughts out on paper. This will not only improve your relationship with others and your children, but it’ll improve your relationship with yourself as well.
3. Say “No” to Unnecessary Obligations
Being a single parent may make you feel like you have to overcompensate for your children to give them the best life, but this isn’t true. Don’t feel like you have to say “yes” to volunteering at your child’s school or go to that non-mandatory work event to impress your boss. Say “no” when you need to so that you don’t overcommit yourself and run yourself dry. This will give you more control in your life and make you feel less stressed over time.
4. Treat Yourself From Time-to-Time
Having one income can cause a financial strain on your life. You may feel like all of your money goes to your kids, bills, and the necessities. However, it’s important to treat yourself to the things that would make you happy from time-to-time so that you aren’t completely neglecting your wants. Plan a lunch you can look forward to or buy that sweater you’ve been wanting; it doesn’t have to be a huge treat but just something that keeps you present and happy.
5. Find a Support System
We all need a healthy support system to help us take on life. Find other single parent friends through playdates or support groups. Confide in your own parents, siblings, friends, or anyone else you feel comfortable with. When finding a healthy support system, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people. The last thing you would want is for your inner-circle to be filled with judgmental, negative people. Find the people who lift you up and make your days happier and easier.
6. Pay Attention to Your Health
The constant demands a single parent endures can undoubtedly lead to stress. If you don’t allow yourself to take breaks away from the kids, get your sleep, or tend to your overall health, you will burn out. Pay attention to the signs of stress that you’re seeing and feeling and address them. Take a women’s daily vitamin and get regular check-ups at the doctor. If you’re struggling to sleep, try creating a nightly routine that helps you wind down and relax. Make your health a priority too!