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Essential guide to being a great single mom part 2: Taking care of yourself

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In part one of the Essential Guide to Being a Great Single Mom, we discussed teaching children morals and good character skills. In this part of the guide, we are more interested in making sure that single moms are taking care of themselves. After all, how can we expect to take proper care of our children if we are not also taking good care of ourselves.

How can we go about taking caring of ourselves? There are many ways. Which method(s) each of us chooses will depend on our personal preferences, but the list below will get you started and hopefully start you down the path of finding the right way for yourself.

To prepare, decide that you are going to spend an hour or so at least once a week concentrating on you. Only you. This may have to be done before your children wake up in the morning, during their nap, while they are at school, or after they are in bed at night. It does not matter when, as long as you are getting your time in. Mark this time on your calendar each week (or day) and try to stick with it. If you have to miss your time, reschedule. Do not give it up all together.

Be sure that your activity either relaxes or rejuvinates you, and enjoy it. Refrain from allowing stressful thoughts to enter your mind, unless your time is being spent on expelling them from your mind so that you can relax. This is your time to spend on you. Do with it what you need to in order to feel good. Stay positive, and enjoy your activities.

Feel free to switch things up from week to week or day to day. The same activity each time may be just what you need, or the same activity may not be as enjoyable each time.

Here are some ideas to get you started. Try to prepare for each alone session by being sure all you need is at the ready.

  1. Reading is relaxing, and often helps people fall asleep. Have a few books on hand so you will be able to read what you want each time.
  2. Journaling is a good way to clear your mind. Try concentrating on positive things during this period of time, but feel free to journal at other times for negative topics. On the other hand, if the way you relax is by getting all the negative things out, feel free to journal them instead. The act can be therapuetic.
  3. Scrapbooking is a productive way to record your families good memories. You can use this time to write on journal cards for each layout as well.
  4. Take a walk. Let all your worries melt away while walking briskly. Or walk more slowly and take in the wonderous scenery.
  5. Sketching and painting are also therapuetic ways to destress. Consider a depiction of the scene outside your window. Or a still life of something within your home.
  6. Photography is another good way to forget about worries. Combine this with your walk for some exercise.
  7. Pamper yourself. A bubble bath is a great way to begin. Then move on to applying lotion. Manicures and pedicures come next. Enjoy yourself with a little pampering for a feel-good evening.
  8. Work out. Dance workouts are fun and get your body moving after a day at your desk job.
  9. Sit on the back porch and enjoy the scenery.

In what ways do you take care of yourself? Let us know!

You may also enjoy:

Essential guide to being a great single mom part 3: Quality time and fun

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