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Because family life matters

Looking after yourself: Check your perspective

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? The way we think about ourselves and our situations can change outcomes. Research has found that people with a positive outlook live a longer healthier life! (1)

Children watch and learn from their parents like sponges so before you speak out negatively about yourself, think: “Do I want my children to think and feel the same about themselves as I do about myself right now? Do I want them to be negative, give up and put themselves down?”

Remaining optimistic, positive and motivated through every challenge and set back is a big goal! How you handle failure, disappointment and doubt, and how you pick yourself up from these, will teach your child(ren) a lot about resilience and flexibility. If you can teach your children now that overcoming a setback in life can help to build confidence and make you stronger, it will be a fantastic advantage to them later in life.

One of the keys to this for me has been finding the right perspective. Instead of focusing on what I’ve lost, and on my lost plans for the future, I concentrate on what we have and on being thankful for it. For example, our finances have changed so we can’t take the holidays we had hoped for, but we have family to visit and parks, beaches and forests to explore for free. Can you turn around some of the negatives in your life right now to find a way to think of them positively instead?

Sometimes there are things we can’t deal with alone. Find a go-to person who you trust and can let off steam with. You need a good friend who you can talk to about how you’re really feeling or, if you need further support, you could consider speaking to a counsellor.

 

 (1) From an article in The Guardian, on a recent paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This article was written for the Single Parent Support newsletter, February 2018.