Everyone has seen the Pirates of the Caribbean at least once. When Barbossa stands tall and says clear as day, "You're off the edge of the map, mate. Here there be monsters," you're a fool if you're a single parent and have not heard something similar to this in the back of your mind at some time or another.
The fact remains single parenting is time consuming, draining, and everyone who's ever sacrificed by single parenting has leaned over the "edge of the map" once or twice. When this happens the only options left to do is consider where your kids would be without you now, and remember the first time your child said, "I love you." Now the concrete things making an impact are doing the unthinkable. That's right, take time for you. Doesn't sound easy, does it? Well it's easier than it sounds with practice, just like balancing a budget. Have you ever had a credit card? If you have, you're already accustomed to the process but maybe aren't aware.
When you make a purchase with the credit card, you unfortunately needed to pay the money back for the goods later, with interest. The same affect happens when you don't take time for yourself--eventually you end up paying for it with interest. You are hard to get along with, crabby even, and the stress--nothing short of overwhelming. As much as it hurts to say, you MUST take time for yourself, as if demanding the last shirt on the clearance rack. (Notice: I didn't say to "find" time, because this cannot happen in a single parent's life.)
If you're anything like a normal parent, getting the kids to bed is either your time to figure bills, do your own homework or housework, or you are more rundown than the kids are and race them to bed. The best way to take time for you is in the morning. Early risers need to get up half an hour earlier, period. This will give you a period with an exact ending so you don't overdo it, (Lord knows you don't want to spoil yourself) but still are able to have your own thoughts. Having conversations with your very best friend (you), is healthy whether you go for a walk in the morning, pull out a journal, or meditate. And if you don't do it willingly, you'll be talking to yourself eventually anyway, in another capacity that perhaps isn't so positive.
Everyone has "monsters" lurking in the shadows, but proactive people who are in touch with themselves have them less. Single parenting calls on bigger monsters than the norm, so we need to stay even more alert and prepared. Half an hour isn't much, but your kids will appreciate the new improvement of you!