As a single parent, do you find it hard to set aside time for yourself? Is it a  struggle to meet up with friends, or to find a babysitter to help you run some errands, go to work, or just to have a little alone time?

Although it is a struggle to have alone time when you’re a single parent, it is vital that you find time to practice self-care for your mental health.

What Is Self Care?

Self-care is a phrase we hear more now than ever before. Everyone’s talking about how important it is, so what do we really mean? Well, self-care is not a new concept, it simply means to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is so important, as it can benefit not only your physical health but your mental health too.

Self-care is all about making a conscious effort to do something that will look after or improve your wellbeing, or something that can make you happy and bring peace to your body and mind.

We already know what you’re thinking: ‘If I’m a single parent, how on earth am I supposed to find time to practice self-care?’. We know your kids are your world, but you have to be well-rested, happy, and healthy enough to look after them. Therefore, practicing self-care every routinely will benefit all of you.

How Can A Single Parent Practice Self Care?

Self-care is different for everyone. For some, it’s just 30 minutes listening to music or watching a favorite movie or TV show. Regardless, it’s a time to shut down, clear your mind, and spend a little alone time doing something that will bring you peace.woman's hand holing a pen on planner

Healthy choices are important, basic self-care like drinking lots of water throughout the day to keep you hydrated, and eating well can ensure a good night’s sleep. Sound sleep is the foundation of better moods and a brighter outlook.

As a single parent, it’s all too easy to feel guilty if you’re not devoting all your extra time to your child. But, it’s so important that you relax, put your mind at ease, and check in with yourself daily.

Fortunately, we have listed five simple, everyday ways to squeeze some self-care into a busy lifestyle as a single parent.

5 Ways Single Parents Can Squeeze Self Care Into A Busy Life

Make the Most of Long Walks and Fresh Air

When you’ve got children, it’s so easy to focus on sorting out packed lunches, bedtime routines, bathing schedules, homework, and all of their activities such as sports, gymnastics, and any other meet that they have, that you can find yourself shut indoors for the majority of the time.

Try going for a long walk whilst the kids are in school, or early in the day. Concentrate on getting some fresh air into your lungs. You can also sit in a park, watch the sunset and simply have some peace and quiet, alone with your thoughts.

Read A Book, Write A Book

Another way to practice self-care is to unplug your screens and rediscover the joy of a leisurely read. A short book or novel can be a welcome mental escape. On the other hand, consider writing stories or diary entries in a journal. This may be a satisfying way to help you purge your frustrations, capture interesting happenings or chart your future plans.

Swap for Some Extended Time Alone

Build a network with other parents to share your respective gifts and meet each others’ needs.  Swap your talents or occupational skills for babysitting services and secure time away for a day trip over even a night in a hotel. A periodic staycation, even just a few miles away, can be revitalizing.

Consider the Virtues of Early Rising

If you’re struggling with finding time for yourself, why not try getting up a little earlier in the morning. Rising an hour before your kids may help you feel less overwhelmed and more prepared to properly welcome the day. You can make yourself a delicious breakfast and settle your mind before jumping feet first into parent mode.

Try Something Novel 

Finally, try doing something new to practice self-care. Stimulate rarely used regions of your brain with a local ballroom dance class or craft activity to broaden your horizons. Or simply recreate the recipes of your favorite restaurants at home. Whatever you try, new things, break the cycle of parenting monotony, and seek out things you really enjoy.

Take the Next Step

While you may struggle to find time for yourself as a single parent, there’s nothing wrong with carving it out intentionally. As you find more quality time for yourself, consider time for individual therapy too. Seize the day. Read more about anxiety therapy and reach out soon for a consultation. We are ready and waiting to help you become a more peaceful person and parent.