Stress for Single Mothers can be very harmful to your body, mind, and spirit
Being a mother will likely be one of the most difficult things you have ever done, but on the other hand, it will be one of the most rewarding jobs of your life. As a mother, you often forget to take care of yourself because you’re caught up in the madness that is life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home mom or you work outside the home, being a mother is stressful! Luckily, there are some great strategies to help you deal with mom stress.
Stress Tips For Every Mother
Get the kids on a schedule. The best thing that every mother can do for herself is to get her kids on a schedule and keep them on it. When you try to stick to a routine you’ll feel more comfortable handling breakfasts, lunches, naps, and bed times. When you don’t have a schedule, you may begin to feel scattered or disorganized and your stress levels will increase exponentially! Things are always unpredictable when kids are involved, but when you have even the simplest structure, your days will be a little more predictable and you’ll save your sanity!
Don’t be afraid to put yourself in time out. Many mothers feel like they just have to keep pushing forward when they are about to come unglued. Moms get stressed and often need to take a breather, just like kids! Instead of continuing to push forward when you are about to snap, walk into another room and just breathe deeply for a few minutes. While you are breathing, picture how you would like to respond to the situation and then remind yourself that it is important for you to follow through in a calm manner. After all, you’re a role model for your children. A minute or two in “time out” can make for a great day for the whole family!
If you ask 100 moms what their diets are like, at least 85 of them will look at you and cringe. Unfortunately, there’s a tendency to just eat what you can, when you can. Even if you are on the go you need to make a conscious effort to eat well. When you eat nutritious foods, you are providing your body with the energy it needs to keep up with your kids and cope with the stress you encounter every day.
Create a support system. Teaming up with other moms makes a great support system. Even if you can’t get together every couple weeks, it is nice to know that you have someone you can call who won’t question your abilities but will just listen and empathize. All mothers feel the stress that comes with the job, so make sure to surround yourself with other moms that will be happy to listen to you when you need a shoulder to lean on; and be sure to return the favor!
Make time for yourself. As a mom, you may forget that you’re important too! This is why you need to make time for yourself every day. You may think that there is no time, but there is if you get help or if you sneak in some relaxation after the kids go to bed or before they get up. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure, drink that cup of tea slowly, read a book, take a long bath, or get a massage. Your relaxation time doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it needs to be there. Even 15 minutes every day can make all the difference!
Stress Tips for Single Moms
Being a single parent may be common today, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many single moms are experiencing dangerous levels of stress, and they don’t see any way around it.
Chronic stress is harmful to your body, mind and spirit. As a parent, you need to find positive ways to deal with the stress so you can be healthy for both your children and yourself.
With a little bit of planning, help, and effort, you can juggle being both the parent and provider of your family.
Here are some tips to help you combat the everyday stresses of being a single mom:
1. Plan ahead.
The best thing you can do when you’re a single mom is to plan ahead. You’ll find that the simple things in life that often cause the most stress can be managed or outright eliminated when you plan ahead.
Prepare meals in advance and freeze them until you’re ready to use them. Have everyone put out their clothes the night before and their shoes by the front door so getting the day started will be a breeze.
2. Involve the kids.
You can’t do everything by yourself, so get your kids involved in getting things done. Any help that your kids are able to contribute will save you a lot of time and stress each day, plus it’s teaching them the importance of responsibility and contributing to the family. Teach them age-appropriate tasks like cleaning their room, doing laundry, making the grocery list, planning meals, cooking, taking out the trash, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, and so on.
3. Know your limits.
When a friend, co-worker, or family member asks something of you that you know you can’t do, say no. It may not make the other person happy, but knowing your limits can help you from being overworked unnecessarily.
If you don’t respect your time, who else will?
4. Create a support system.
When you have people that you can turn to, you’ll be able to release stress in a positive way. When you need a bit of reinforcement, it helps to know you can pick up the phone and call in backup!
Your support system might consist of family members and friends who are willing to listen to you vent or even help you around the house.
5. Make time for yourself.
Schedule at least 10 to 15 minutes just for you into each day. This time can even be for something simple, like painting your fingernails, taking a hot bath, or reading for pleasure.
Your alone time will refresh and revive you!
These are all very simple, yet effective, ways to deal with the stress of being a single parent. These tips won’t do away with stress altogether, but they’ll help you manage it in a way that will allow you to get things done and enjoy your life and kids.
Your kids will only be small for a short time, and you don’t want to waste these years in a stressed out daze. Instead, take advantage of the here and now by incorporating these stress management tips into your life. It’s easier than you think!
Niji No Hashi Dojo- Martial Arts, Cary, Morrisville, NC