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Catch Me Elsewhere
As a single mom, regardless of how hectic life gets, your children are always your number one priority. Unfortunately, this itself can add to the stress you’re already feeling from everything else going on in your life, especially when you feel like your busy schedule is interfering with your children’s happiness.
As hard as it may be, reducing stress as a busy single mom means having to learn to ask for help—something that doesn’t come easy for some—and setting aside some time to for you so that you can be better for them, even when your schedule’s already jam-packed.
Putting yourself first as a mom is hard and even harder when you’re a single mom. Who’s got time for that, right? You might feel like taking time for yourself is selfish when your kids need you but the truth of the matter is that to be the best mom you can, you’ll need to take care of yourself. It’s a matter of your physical and mental health. Stress has been proven to weaken the immune system as has a lack of sleep which increases your risk of not just the common cold and flu, but other chronic conditions too. And being sick also takes a toll on your emotional well-being and adds to your stress levels.
Rework your schedule to include some time unwind and do something that you enjoy. For some women this might mean getting in a quick workout before starting the day and for others it’s as simple as heading to bed just 20 minutes earlier to do some reading or enjoy a long bath. If you’re having trouble finding the time to focus on you, then consider putting the kids to bed a little earlier or giving them 30 minutes of “quiet time” if they’re too old for naps. This gives you all a few moments of peace to do something on your own each day.
Single moms can be fiercely independent and they really do have to be a lot of the time. The key to your well-being and your children’s is to understand that asking for help and leaning on others once in a while is in no way a failure. We all need and deserve to have the support of others and if anyone has earned the help, it’s the moms who are raising their kids without a partner to pick up half the slack! Look to those who love you for help with anything from babysitting to errands and chores to take some of the pressure off your hectic schedule. They’d be happy to do it! And consider looking into any outside resources available to you, like daycare services at the local gym so you can enjoy doing something good for your health and sanity while someone else looks after the kids for a bit. Mommy and single mom support groups are also popping up in different neighbourhoods. These not only give you other moms to commiserate with but also new and supportive friends to swap everything from parenting tips to child care with.
Studies have found a link between diet and a person’s ability to handle stress. Eating a healthy diet that’s high in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can work wonders on the way you feel and cope on even the most stressful days. You’ll have more energy, a stronger immune system, and be able to maintain a healthier weight by eating right, in turn giving your kids the best version of yourself while also setting a great example.
Busy or not – mommy needs some grownup time! Whether dating or spending time with friends, getting out of the house and spending time with people outside of the house is important for you as a mom and as a women. New experiences and interesting conversations can work wonders on your mindset. Spending time in the company of others gives you a break from the norm and stimulates the brain. Studies have actually found that social interaction can help you maintain good mental health and even reduce your risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Besides, variety is the spice of life, after all.
A little tweaking of your schedule can go a long way in helping you reduce stress as a single mom. Think outside the box when you need to and look to others for ideas. You’ll be surprised at just how a few small changes can have a big impact on your stress level.