Finding ways to reduce stress as a solo mom is not easy. Many solo moms are experiencing dangerous levels of stress, and they don’t see any way around it. Being a solo mom might not be uncommon but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. However, there are simple ways you can reduce stress once you learn to slow down and take notice.
Chronic stress is harmful to your body, mind, and spirit. As a solo mom, you need to find positive ways to reduce stress so you can be healthy for both your children and yourself. And unfortunately, the stress doesn’t get any less as your kids get older.
However, with a little bit of planning, help, and effort, you can juggle being both the parent and provider of your family, even when going solo. You can also find strategies to deal with and reduce stress in this blog post.
Here are some tips to help you combat the everyday stresses of being a solo mom:
1. Plan ahead. The best thing you can do when you’re a solo mom is to plan ahead. You’ll find that the simple things in life that often cause the most stress can be managed or outright eliminated when you plan ahead.
- Prepare meals in advance and freeze them until you’re ready to use them. My favorite meal prep go-to person is The Domestic Geek. This video is a great place to start.
- Have everyone put out their clothes the night before and their shoes by the front door so getting the day started will be a breeze.
- Involve the kids. You can’t do everything by yourself, so get your kids involved in getting things done. Any help that your kids are able to contribute will save you a lot of time and stress each day, plus it’s teaching them the importance of responsibility and contributing to the family.
- Teach them age-appropriate tasks like cleaning their room, doing laundry, making the grocery list, planning meals, cooking, taking out the trash, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, and so on.
- Know your limits. When a friend, co-worker, or family member asks something of you that you know you can’t do, say no. It may not make the other person happy, but knowing your limits can help you from being overworked unnecessarily.
- Create a support system. When you have people that you can turn to, you’ll be able to release stress in a positive way. When you need a bit of reinforcement, it helps to know you can pick up the phone and call in backup!
- Your support system might consist of family members and friends who are willing to listen to you vent or even help you around the house. Your support system to a lesser extent could also include people you meet in online forums. There are many MeetUp and Facebook groups that support solo moms. If nothing else, they give you a fresh perspective, even if you don’t share anything with the group. Also, Mental Health America explains the different ways you can make connections so you can reduce stress.
- Make time for yourself. Schedule at least 10 to 15 minutes just for you into each day. This time can even be for something simple, like painting your fingernails, taking a hot bath, or reading for pleasure. My recent podcast guest Ayami Hiroshige finds ways to reduce stress by taking 10 minutes to meditate and write in her journal (episode below). From my own experience, I know this to be a very effective way to practice self-care. Meditation has a wide range of health benefits not the least of which is stress reduction.
- Your alone time will refresh and revive you!
These are all very simple, yet effective, ways to deal with the stress of being a solo parent. These tips won’t do away with stress altogether, but they’ll help you manage it in a way that will allow you to get things done and enjoy your life and kids.
It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it. ~~Lou Holtz
Download this free Stress Management Self-Care Worksheet. It’s a useful tool that can help you get a handle on, and reduce stress in your daily life.
If your kids are small, they’ll only be that way for a short time. You don’t want to waste these precious years in a stressed out daze. Instead, take advantage of the here and now by incorporating these stress management tips into your life. It’s easier than you think!