Stay mentally healthy as single mother It’s not easy, and no one will tell you that it is. Being one creates a pretty incredible amount of stress in the average single-parent household, whether you’re raising one child or many on your own. From managing finances to dealing with the daily ‘adventures’ of parenting, it’s important to stay balanced so your children grow up to be happy, well-balanced young adults. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Powerful Tips to Improve the Mental Health of Single Moms
That’s why we’re highlighting ten powerful mental health tips for single moms keep things under control and start feeling good about your daily challenges.
Show your love and affection
The first step toward everyday mental health is simply remembering to be caring. You know that every day of work and upbringing is dedicated to the happiness of your children. But it’s often hard for your child (and even for you) to feel that warmth at the end of a hard day. The best way to make everyone feel happier each day is to share hugs and positive words.
Always show encouragement in response to grades and art projects. Say the words “I love you” and give him regular hugs. Say something positive about your day each night at dinner and encourage your children to share something positive about their day, friends or siblings at each dinner together with you.
Set aside some personal quiet time every day
As a single mom, the idea of ”me time” can be ridiculously sparse. Don’t worry about taking a whole hour every night to take a bubble bath if that doesn’t fit into your schedule. But take a few minutes each day for quiet personal reflection. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning before the kids wake up, or just between bedtime and yours.
Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy the quiet for a while each day. Be yourself, practice mindfulness, or just focus on relaxing every muscle in your body for that wonderful short period of time. This is one of the mental health tips for single moms which gets easier as it becomes a routine.
Take care of your body
A neglected body is a tired and stressed body. The last thing you need is for your own personal energy to wane when you need it most. So remember to take care of yourself, just like you take care of your children. Of all the mental health advice for single moms, this broad step includes many small tweaks.
When you shower, take time to pamper yourself with moisturizing soaps and a little relaxation. When you eat, make sure you’re eating healthy (for an adult, not just kid food) and getting enough exercise to keep up your energy. Go to sleep at the same time every night.
Also, make sure your bedroom is a dark, quiet, and relaxing place to encourage good sleep.
Think “I can do this”
Be encouraged to persevere, even when the odds seem stacked against you. You can accept the challenge. Even if you also face a personal disability, your human capabilities are less limited than you may feel.
Embrace positive self-talk and tell yourself that you are up for the challenge. Even when you are about to scream in frustration or cry from stress, tell yourself that you can and will handle whatever lies ahead.
Enforce the rules with your children and explain why
Lay down the law at home, but not like a tyrant. To really succeed with any mental health advice for single moms that involves their kids, she starts with an explanation. It is important that your children understand not only what the rules are, but also why they are.
Make sure your kids speak to you respectfully (with inner voices) and avoid making a mess not just because you say so, but because respectful speech shows love and messes take time to straighten out.
Explain that the task must be done immediately so that it is never forgotten. Explain that the milk is put back in the fridge so it doesn’t spoil. When your children understand why rules are rules and treat you as a partner in maintaining a peaceful home, your peace of mind will stabilize as well.
Embrace waiting times for kids and moms
Timeouts are an essential element of parenthood, and not always for the reasons you might think. Timeouts are a good compromise between tyrannical discipline and just taking a breather. Teach your kids that time out isn’t always a harsh punishment, but rather a chance for everyone to calm down.
If your kids are bouncing off the walls or getting overly upset over a disagreement, use time-out as a situation to catch your breath. You can even teach a little meditation instead of just sending your kids to a corner or their room.
In fact, you should also consider mom’s wait times. When you’re about to lose control, it’s okay to take a moment for yourself to breathe.
You can also tell your kids that it’s rest time because you can’t handle the energy they’re expending. The kids who are working with you may even go into “time out” when they get stressed out in a situation.
Find high-quality and reliable babysitting
Childcare can be one of the greater challenges for single mothers. Don’t trust your older child too much or unreliable people in your life. Never lean on new romantic partners or even new friends for childcare if you don’t already know and trust them.
Instead, try to establish one to three reliable sources of child care that you can really count on. So you can stress less when your children are in the care of these familiar and trusted adults.
Develops adult friendships and confidants
Single mothers often feel isolated with no one or very few people to talk to about their real adult concerns. It is important to have at least one person with whom you can be completely honest.
Sometimes you need to vent your stress without the risk of the kids listening to you. Whether you need to de-stress over finances or complicated issues with your ex, a good friend and confidante is essential to your mental health.
If you don’t have a close friend or relative, it may even be worth developing a relationship with a therapist who will listen and offer good advice.
Accept your limitations
While telling yourself, “I can do this” every day, it’s also important to accept and embrace your real personal limitations. For example, if you’re diagnosed with depression, it’s okay to accept that you’ll have to fight low energy and a bad mood on most days.
If you know you’re always late, give yourself an extra 10 to 30 minutes for each appointment. If you can’t stand loud noises, be firm and honest with your kids about not turning up the volume on the TV.
Everyone has personal limitations, no matter how many mental health tips for single moms you can add to your daily routine. Physical and mental conditions are a good starting point.
But your power reserve and personal preferences also play a role. When you accept your limitations, it becomes easier not to punish yourself for them. Then you can make practical plans to get around those limitations and continue to meet your goals.
Keep your sense of humor about everyday challenges
Last but not least of our mental health tips for single moms, remember to laugh. Keeping a good sense of humor about life’s little (and big) challenges can be the key to mental health instead of feeling overwhelmed by stress.
When your kids color the wall with crayons, let your first response be to laugh. If your favorite shirt gets ruined when your child tries to do the laundry, laugh first, explain later, and don’t just make time to get angry. When your child gets upset that he took the wrong juice box, teach him to laugh at the little things along with you.
Anger, fear and tears are bad for you and the children. When your first response is humor, even sarcastic humor, you will notice their stress level decrease. Your children will accept the idea that they can laugh at life’s challenges. With that initial stress resolved, you can move right into the “fix it” phase of any problem together as a family.
Staying healthy while raising your children alone may not be easy, but there are many ways to make it easier. Use these mental health tips for single moms to improve your mental health at home and work as you tackle the amazing job of being a successful single mom.