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Self-Care for Single Parents|healthy snack on desk

Lifestyle

Self-Care for Single Parents

All too often, single parents put their own needs on the back burner. The ever-growing to-do list seems endless when you are trying to hold a job, manage a household, and care for your children. Tasks keep piling up, and you can barely find the time to do the dishes, let alone spend time focusing on self-care.


Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to stay healthy and relaxed while living this lifestyle. Being a single parent is difficult, but there are ways of managing your time to allow yourself a moment of peace every once in a while. When you don’t prioritize your own mental and physical health, you can end up burnt out or ill.


It may seem ridiculous to sit down and pamper yourself when you have a screaming child in the next room and countless house chores to complete, but prioritizing self-care will make you the best parent you can possibly be for your children. Simple changes in your lifestyle can leave you feeling healthier, more relaxed, and ready to take on anything.



Rethink the Definition of Self-Care


The typical mental image of self-care often includes laying on the beach, getting a massage, or spending a day at the spa. For a single parent, many of these options aren’t feasible. Self-care doesn’t need to be so extravagant and can instead consist of simple practices meant to help you relax and unwind.


Small changes such as adding essential oils into your daily routine, meditating for 10 minutes a day, and sneaking in exercise can do wonders for your mental and physical health.



healthy snack on desk Eat Healthily


When you're in a rush, how do you feed yourself? Do you grab a bag of chips as you head out the door or go through a drive-thru on your way to work? Would you feed your child like that? Just as you prioritize your children’s health, you should also prioritize yours.


Try to meal prep once a week so that you have something healthy to grab when you’re in a rush. Maintaining a healthy diet help boost your energy levels and keep sickness at bay.



Practice Meditation


When you wake up to a screaming child in the morning, meditation is the last thing on your mind. However, prioritizing meditation—even for five minutes—can drastically change your mindset.


If your child usually wakes up at 7 a.m., try waking up an hour earlier. Make yourself a mug of tea, put on some soothing music, and just breathe. Focus on your breath for five, 10, or 15 minutes as you clear your mind. By putting the stress of yesterday behind, you can mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead.



Use Essential Oils


Adding essential oils into your daily routine is one of the easiest acts of self-care. Choose your oil based on what you're struggling with at the moment. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, try diffusing lavender essential oil. For headaches, try peppermint . To fight fatigue, use lemon or grapefruit.


Get Some Exercise


Going to the gym as a single parent? Not likely. Even so, there are easy ways to sneak some exercise into your daily routine. If you only have a few minutes to yourself in the mornings and evenings, spend that time doing some gentle stretches. On your lunch break at work, take a walk around the block instead of sitting in the break room. When your child is napping, do a few push-ups and crunches. You can also incorporate exercise into play time. Instead of sitting on a bench at the park, try walking around instead.



Final Thoughts


Remember that you don’t need to do it all. Your main priorities should be taking care of your children and taking care of yourself. Learn when to say no and when to ask for help. Try not to take on more than you can handle, and take some time for yourself when you can. As long as you're prioritizing the mental and physical health of you and your loved ones, everything else can wait.


Photo credits: DragonImages/shutterstock.com, Liderina/shutterstock.com

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