Being a single parent certainly helps you to pull everything into perspective. Through my 12 years of experience as a single parent, I have made myself consciously show up to what life has put in front of me. I know that there will be many more moments where life will demand the same level of strength and discipline, if not more. It’s about growing stronger into the person you were born to be and knowing that whatever the future holds, that strength is within you for every step that lays ahead.
These 5 Lifepoints have been my most poignant areas as a single parent. They have been the back bone to staying on top of the job and I know that by narrowing in on these Lifepoints you can make your life alot easier and smoother for your future.
As a single parent, health, would have to be the single most important factor. It takes alot of consistent stamina to be a sole parent in so many areas of life. Your health is not something to take lightly. Poor health leaves you lacking strength in body, mind and spirit. It increases the struggle, it clouds your mind and loads more stress on your mind and body making it much harder to cope with even the little everyday things.
In the past six months, this has really hit home for me. I have noticed the changes in my body. More in the sense of needing to work harder to stay healthy and fit as I move closer to 40. As a single parent this would be my number one tip to stay on top of. Move your body everyday – workout, run, swim, cycle, whichever you enjoy. There are so many options to improve your health and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Cost is usually the reason single parents don’t pay attention to themselves, it’s too expensive. I want to tell you …. It’s not!! Please don’t buy into that. Cost is an excuse to sell out. What is it really … Motivation!! It cost nothing to do regular and consistent exercise and to stretch your body in the morning when you get out of bed. It’s more about training your mind to do it and building a habit. And if you need a little inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to find a huge variety to keep it interesting and challenging.
Most important is to push yourself in a positive direction and believe that you are worth the time and effort. Good health doesn’t just happen, we build it, with the food we put into our bodies and how much we move our bodies. So get started, it’s never too late and the results of feeling strong and healthy are the best reward and keep your energy levels higher.
Majority of single parents struggle with money, don’t have a good relationship with it and find it incredibly frustration. But don’t let that frustration burn a hole in your pocket. Most are working on a single income or on government support, either of these can make finances a little tricky to manage. However, money is what makes the world go around, so mastering it, makes life a lot more enjoyable. The sooner you make peace with it the better. I agree there are times where it can become a real love hate relationship. But you are going to get more of what you focus on, so when it comes to money, you want to be focusing on it increasing and enjoying it.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your money is to ….. not spend it!!! It’s not rocket science, but a lot of people spend as soon as they have it. How do I know this? Because it’s what I used to do many years ago. Now I prefer to only use what I need and leave the rest alone. Leave it alone! As a single parent, you also want to have some sort of back up plan, and if you are spending everything you have then you will have a constant state of fear running in the back of your mind, hoping nothing goes wrong because you ‘don’t have enough’. This feeling is tormenting and is what contributes to the uncomfortable and negative relationship with money. If you are feeling this way often, then my suggestion is to start putting a little extra into another account. Whether it’s five dollars, ten percent or twenty percent of your total earnings each week, fortnight or month, depending on which cycle works for you. Something is better than nothing and as it builds it will give you peace of mind and you will find your relationship to money isn’t so abrasive anymore.
This is a very important point. If you are not having any fun, then you are by default constantly in a state of fight or flight, which will stress your body and cause a whole lot of anxiety and health problems. Personally, I lived with anxiety for many years, until I learnt the art of letting go and allowing myself to have fun. Let yourself laugh …. at stupid things. Even be silly and laugh at yourself, anything that will give you a good belly laugh.
Challenge yourself to do something different every now and then, a change of scenery will naturally lighten your mood and your day and you will feel a whole lot better and refreshed. Constantly doing the same thing day in and day out can lead to feeling trapped and depression. Get out of the house, go for a bush walk, a picnic, visit the beach, even better to do something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet. Be invigorated and inspired by what life has to offer outside of your comfort zone. Being a single parent is no reason not to have fun! You must have fun, you must enjoy yourself, you must take time out to breathe and feel alive.
Always do your housekeeping, inside and out. A single parent life is so much easier if you can get yourself organised, and maintaining a clean environment around you will declutter your headspace as well. A messy space is a messy mind. I have seen it time and time again.
Priorities are all about being organised. Some people don’t like structure, however, my experience has taught me that it simply doesn’t work without it. For example, simply to prepare what will be for dinner, shopping in advance, keeping a clean and tidy house, plan when to exercise. These are just examples where you can apply your own structure to your life. The most important part however, is to take Action. There is no point prioritising your tasks if you just waste your time away doing unnecessary things and don’t get to what needs to be done …. Just do it and move onto the next thing. Don’t ignore them and don’t procrastinate over them!
Prioritise what needs to be done, the things that need your attention. Create a list, write them down. Giving yourself some structure will help you to stay organised and motivated to stay on track with your goals and see them through.
Connect, connect, connect. Whether its friends, family or your neighbours. Every single parent needs a support network. Even if it is your colleges at work. Having someone to talk to and feel human around makes all the difference. Don’t try to be wonder woman (or superman) and save the world all by yourself. Humans are social creatures, and just because you are a single parent, that is no reason be alone. My experience has shown me the importance of having strong mental and emotional health through social skills, staying in touch with people, talking to people, being generally chatty with people and engaging yourself with those around you.
If you are fortunate to have family around you, be willing to accept offers of help and support, so you can take time out that you may need. And I know, majority of single parents feel that they are not entitled to time off or feel that there isn’t enough room in their life for time off, or there are too many things to do before you can take time out. However, if the offer is there, take it, take the time you need!!!! You must! Being a single parent is exhausting, and both mentally and emotional draining. Utilising this support is vital and absolutely necessary to your health and wellbeing.
Whichever stage you are in your single parenthood I strongly believe these lifepoints can help you to look deeper into where you are putting your focus and how you can redirect to get better results.
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Something to remember … “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. Enjoy your day and make it matter!