Got a Grip on Stress?
One of my favorite books as a single mother was Parenting on Your Own, by Lynda Hunter. I loved her S-T-R-E-S-S acronym. To this day, I try to practice it myself. Maybe you’ll find one or two items that will benefit you:
S= Sleeping and resting. If we don’t sleep, we get grumpy. It’s easy for our schedules to be overtaxed and under-managed. Resting relaxes our minds. As a single mom, I did that by listening to soothing music. It allowed my anxious emotions to unwind and let my heart breath deep and let go.
T= Tending to time management. A mother’s job is never done. Part of time management is not just monitoring our time, but evaluating the bigger picture. We need to ask ourselves, “Does this thing I’m fretting over really matter?” May we can learn to distinguish between the essentials and nonessentials.
R= Routinely exercise. This took discipline. As a single mom, I was a school teacher and after work, I was tired. However, my body needed to release pint-up endorphins, so I’d strap on my tennis shoes and walk around the school as few times before I picked up the children from daycare. Eventually my body said thank you.
E= Eating healthy. This was the hardest for me because I wasn’t a cook. It was easier to pick up fast foods on the way home instead of cooking dinner. But at least twice a week, I took the kids to Furr’s cafeteria, not for them to get vegetables and fruits (because I would have given that at home), but it was for me to eat right, too.
S= Socializing. It’s important as a single mom to maintain your social life and foster friendships. The ladies in my neighborhood formed a co-op where we exchanged tickets for babysitting hours. It allowed me to plan appropriate friend time and helped develop the “me” that somehow got lost in the shuffle.
S= Strengthening spiritual commitment. Nothing revitalized me more than renewing my relationship with Christ every morning. Reading His Word fueled me for my days’ activities. The Bible is living and active and is ready to give us fresh energy at all times.
When raising children alone, you cannot be on the top of your game every day. But you can take measures to keep yourself afloat.