Last year was a tough one for all of us, but single moms really felt the weight of working from home, remote learning, and keeping their kids healthy during a pandemic. As we start the new year, taking care of ourselves should be one of our resolutions. Self care involves more than just pedicures and massages. It involves all aspects of your health, from emotional to the physical.
Make exercise and healthy eating a priority.
Moms are typically the primary caregiver in the home, but this is even more so in single parent households. Staying physically healthy is important so you can take care of your little ones. Obesity is one of the underlying conditions that puts people more at risk of developing serious complications with COVID-19, which makes a healthy diet and exercise crucial right now.
The combination of diet and exercise is key to maintaining a healthy weight. It’s recommended that adults perform at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity each week. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid excess sugars, saturated and trans fats, and foods high in sodium.
Get enough sleep.
The importance of sleep is emphasized in children, but adults often don’t make sleep a priority. Not getting enough sleep can lead to several health problems, both physical and mental. Making sleep a priority can make you healthier, and also a more present, happier mom.
Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Quality sleep means uninterrupted sleep. To set yourself up for a successful night’s sleep, log off all devices one hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from these devices can interfere with sleep. Make your room a peaceful oasis with dark curtains to block light and comfortable bedding. A bedroom free of distractions will promote good REM sleep, which is the deepest level of sleep.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
Single moms are constantly having to say yes to everything when it comes to their kids. Hungry? Mom will feed you. Help with homework? Mom will help you. Tired? Mom will tuck you in. The constant yes’s can lead to severe burnout for single moms. Couple that with work responsibilities, taking care of household chores on your own, financial burdens, social obligations, and more, and it’s easy to see why single moms get overwhelmed so easily.
Guess what? It’s okay to say no to things that don’t have a positive effect on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Some obligations we have no choice over, but for the things we do, saying no is more than okay.
Put “me time” on the to-do list.
With so many things to get done in a day, making time for yourself is often the last on the list. By the time you get around to it, you’re too tired to even attempt it. Shifting things around on your to-do list and putting “me time” at the top will guarantee that it gets done.
“Me time” can look like a lot of things. It’s anything that fills your cup and makes you happy. A bubble bath, reading a good book, watching your favorite show, getting your nails done, even listening to some good music is enough to make “me time” beneficial. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure you’re filling it on a regular basis!
Focus on the good.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the negatives of being a single mom. The “why me’s” and “how am I going to do this on my own” can really put you in a bad place mentally. Switching that mindset is key to taking care of your overall health.
For every negative, list a positive. You can do this in your head, share it with a friend, or write it down. The more positives you can list, the less the negative will affect you. Fill your bucket up with good things so the bad doesn’t weigh you down and control your life. Switch your mindset from “why is this happening to me” to “what is this teaching me”. A positive mindset can really change your entire life around.
You don’t have to wait for the start of a new year to make these positive changes in your life. Start practicing these self-care tips right now, today. You’re a hard-working mama and you deserve it!
best-self-care-strategies, looking-ahead, New-Year, New-Year-self-care-tips, positive-changes, positive-outlook, positivity, self-care, self-care-mom, single mom, single-mom-self-care