Self-love for single parents can be hard. Separation and divorce often leave us with damaged self-esteem. Moreover, taking care of a child on your own often means sacrificing your own needs — physical, material, and emotional. But as your child’s role model, it is important for you to show them the importance of confidence and self-care.
Self-Love for Single Parents: How Single Parents Can Take Care of Themselves
Self-love for single parents isn’t a cure for all ills. It can’t magically fix your loneliness, insecurity, depression, anxiety, or resentment. But it is an important ingredient of good parenting.
So here are ways to help you build self-love today:
1. Practice Emotional Hygiene
Mental hygiene is the practice of maintaining emotional, psychological, and social well-being. There are many ways you can practice emotional hygiene. One way is to reach out to your friends, loved ones, and family members when you are feeling lonely. Make plans to meet for lunch or a virtual coffee date if they are far. This can help against emotional isolation.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Being exhausted all the time means you are not taking care of yourself enough. This is risky because you can’t take care of your child effectively if you get sick. Additionally, it compromises your psychological and physical health. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep.
3. Stop Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk can increase your stress levels, anxiety, and depression while lowering your self-esteem. It, therefore, can diminish your motivation and make your feelings of helplessness worse.
Totally avoiding negative self-talk won’t happen overnight. It is a conscious choice and you must practice it every day. When you notice your thoughts turning negative, change it to positive self-talk.
Kids can be demanding at times and this can easily make you feel inadequate. When this happens, think about the many times you have done right by your children. Doing so will remind you of your worth and power. And at times when you’re doubting yourself, read about the 3 Incredible Reasons Single Parents Are Unheralded Heroes.
4. Let Go of Perfection
I am good enough. Self-love for single parents starts with that mantra. It means you accept yourself even though you are not perfect. As a working single parent, there will be numerous times you are cranky and tired. Slip-ups can happen and you might feel you are doing a terrible job as a parent. During times like this, you must forgive yourself and treat them as learning opportunities. Be kind to yourself the way you are kind to your child and other people.
5. Set SMART Goals
Setting goals and achieving them can increase your self-esteem which makes you love yourself more. But for this to be effective, you must set a goal that is neither too easy nor impossible to achieve. It must be challenging but achievable.
The formula for setting a goal is SMART:
- Specific: Instead of saying you want to be more confident, trying setting a goal like eating out alone once a month or sitting alone in a coffee shop for 30 minutes.
- Measurable: The measurement of the sample goal above will be when you’ve dined alone.
- Achievable: The goal must not be impossible. It must be within your capability.
- Relevant: Your goal must have a bigger purpose. In our examples, sitting alone in a coffee shop for 30 minutes can help you be more confident. Dining alone can make you feel empowered.
- Time: Your goal must have a time frame. In our examples, the time frames are once a month and for 30 minutes.
Loving yourself means you must take care of your mental and physical health. Self-love for single parents means having activities that improve your self-esteem amidst the challenges of raising a child alone.