Looking after yourself: Staying healthy
Release the tension
When you’re feeling angry, stressed, anxious or upset, it is important to find a way to release the tension . Keeping negative emotions bottled up and pretending nothing’s wrong, can lead to you feeling overburdened and even resentful of others because you feel you have to suffer in silence.
Think about the things that help you deal with stress, and build these into your routine. Talk to a friend who can help you think through your schedule.
Focus on staying healthy
In the last fourteen years, I must have spent hundreds if not thousands of minutes worrying about what my children eat, their exercise and sports and how much time they spend in front of a screen. But after they’re in bed, I sit down exhausted in front of the TV, snacks at hand -my own need for healthy food and regular exercise seems less important than my children’s!
Actually, looking after yourself is one of the best investments you can make in your child’s future to ensure as much as possible that you will be there for them. Attend your regular health check ups eat healthily, exercise when you’re able and get as much sleep as you can. Value your own health as much as you do your child’s.
Ask for help and support
We need to get better at asking for help! As a single parent you do a lot for your children, and it’s great to find people who can help you practically and emotionally as you raise your family. You may find that they become role models for your child(ren) and teach them valuable life lessons they wouldn’t want to hear from you.
Identify the things you need most help with (laundry, babysitting your child, driving to appointments) and ask for specific and concrete assistance.
You are a better and wiser, not lesser, parent for getting help.
This article was written for the Single Parent Support newsletter, February 2018.