But I don’t have a choice!

I replied to his solution with, ‘but I don’t have a choice’.

I’ll preface what happened with – I am working hard. My old neurological symptoms are active again, and I have some new ones. Despite continuing rehabilitation, muscle wasting on my left shoulder blade has triggered a cascade of problems. So for most of this year the physio, chiropractor, osteopath and my GP have been fighting with me, to keep my shoulders moving and pain free. It was a relief to have my routine appointment with my neurologist for his expert opinion.

After responding to his ‘what’s been happening’ question with the edited highlights of my year thus far: moving parents from interstate, having them live with me, then moving them out to new house a 1 ½ hour drive from me, and the usual trials and tribulations of being a single parent to young adult children, working multiple part-time jobs plus my business/ministry/writing.  My doctor’s conclusion was that it was not to do with my body, but with my lifestyle. ‘You work too hard.’

He said, ‘Stop the unpaid hours in your business/ministry/writing.’ I relied, ‘I can’t. I tried that after my last attack put me in hospital. I ended up with reactive depression as I lost enjoyment in life and all hope for the future. I used all my available energy for work and did nothing that was pleasurable for me. I didn’t have the energy to be social, so I was a recluse on the couch when I wasn’t at work.’

He said, ‘Stop work then.’ I said, ‘I can’t. I need the money.’

He said, ‘Have more holidays.’ I said, ‘I can’t. I don’t have the money. I’ve just had my first holiday in 30 years thanks to a birthday present.’

Stalemate!

Woe is me

Driving home I cried for my lack of choices. I played the ‘if’ game. If I was married then maybe I wouldn’t have to work to bring in the income to support the family. If I was married then maybe I would have holidays every year, not every decade. If I was married maybe I wouldn’t have burnt myself out so much as a single parent who always did too much and then I wouldn’t be sick. So the more ‘ifs’ I thought about the more tears I cried. I felt more sorry for myself and I blamed my circumstances as a single parent for my lack of choice.

Single parenting does limit choices. The lack of income is a big reason for this. For some the choice becomes food or petrol, or whose medication to buy. I don’t have a solution for this except get budgeting help if you need (see resources below).

I’m sorry this has been a different blog, all about me really!  But writing this I realise I have choices. Yes, I have a massive number of deadlines now – some self-imposed, but many from others. I’ve also reflected that living a life of purpose is important to my health, so I need to make choices to ensure the longevity of this.

There are some voluntary roles I do that long-term I can plan to retire from. Right now, I can get help with them (that means putting pride aside and asking others to help me, and it means letting go of control). I can negotiate to delay some deadlines. There are three ‘I can’ statements in this short paragraph.

I worked out my priorities by writing the deadlines onto a calendar and used that to work backwards and see what has to be done right now, what can wait for day or two, or a week, and what can be put on hold.

I can practise boundaries. I can say no. But I need to say no to the right things. In the past I’ve said ‘no’ to good things like catching up with people, activities that bring me joy like 10 minutes sitting in the sun now we have spring in Adelaide, or cross stitching. I can say ‘yes’ to things that fill me.

I can ensure I maintain my healthy behaviours; drinking water, stretching, sleeping enough, relaxation, watching my thought life, keeping my mind and body healthy.

These may not change my workload, but it means I’m filled and giving out from a full tank rather than trying to give and do things when I’m empty and tired.

I can let others down and that is OK. My boundaries may mean I decide not to meet their deadlines. I will forgo my perfectionism and need to please others and be OK with it.

I have a lot of choices.

Putting legs on it

Is there an area of your life where you feel you have no choice?

Look at it from a different angle. Imagine you are the ‘doctor’ talking to ‘you’. What solutions can you come up with and take the time to consider which ones to action?

  • Can someone else do it – your kids? Can you ask others to help?
  • What choices do you have? They may mean having to let go of control, letting others down or not be perfect.
  • How can you change your priorities or deadlines?

Restoring Balance special offer

Although I’m not well neurologically and I recognise the hard work I’m doing is a contributing factor, I’m not stressed (except for a few things) because I’m practicing health and self-care to offset this. I’m applying what I teach in Restoring Balance: How to avoid compassion fatigue and restore balance by caring for yourself whilst caring for others.

Click here for video about Restoring Balance.

It pays to read to the end of the post. If you live in Adelaide and would like to attend the Restoring Balance Women’s Retreat but money has limited your choice to attend, I am giving 2 single parents the option to attend for $100 AUS.

Click here for video of why you need to come to the retreat.

If you would like to complete the online version of the course and money has limited your choice to sign up, I will give access to the online course to 2 single parents for $50 USD.

Click here for information about the online course.

For both these subsidised offers please contact me on this email address – first 2 people for each option – vicky@hisheartministrytraining.com.au

Resources

Money Smart: Managing in a low income

CAP: CAP money course

 

 

 

How to prioritise and schedule

It’s back to work for me this week and by day 1 reality hit me, there’s more to do than available time. The potential is there to overload already. As promised here are some ideas on how to prioritise and schedule following on from             3 steps to organise your year as a single parent family

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How to work out your priorities

As a single parent you will experience overwork with the demands of running your family; working, keeping house, other commitments and maybe having some ‘you’ time. You need to find a way to prioritise all the demands you experience and manage your time.  One of the acts to achieve balance is to work out what your priorities are and give your available time and energy to the highest ones. Your priorities may not be the same as your boss, your pastor/minister if you go to church or your mothers!

There are many different techniques around.

My favourite is the ‘to do’ list. Sometimes I even write things on the list I have already done for the satisfaction of crossing it off!  Some issues with a ‘to do ‘list include:

  • Not finishing it can also make you feel bad about yourself
  • Using a list is task driven – people can be something you ‘do’ rather than ‘be’ with.
  • The desire to delete an item on the list can push you to keep working until the task is finished so you ignore breaks, people and don’t notice that the quality of your work slips and your frustration increases – or is that just me!.

Blocks of time schedule

Due to the negatives of a ‘to do’ list, I have switched to using a blocks of time schedule. In this method you allocate a set time to an activity and it doesn’t matter if you complete it, you stop and move onto the next block of time. You allocate breaks and rest time. Stephen Covey designed a method of scheduling a week by working out your role, followed by a goal for each role, then allocating a time blocks to work towards the goal.

So what mistakes did I make in my schedule for this week? I blew it before half the day was gone. I forgot to add time for breaks …oops… and didn’t add margins. Margins are gaps between the blocks that give you wriggle room if you need a bit longer on a task, or give you a chance to return phone calls, even sneak a longer rest. Allow a block of time for answering emails and checking social media, as letting these interrupt other block of time limits your ability to concentrate.

It’s important to add time in your schedule to spend with people – not as a task but as a refresher and encouragement to you and them. Andy Stanley says we show people how much we love them by our schedule1.

I got caught by this too this week when one of my big kids asked me to do something with them and I continued on with trying to finish my tasks because I hadn’t allowed time in my schedule just to be with them. The argument that ensured fleshed out that they felt my work and writing blogs were more important than they are to me. My time reflected my priorities. Point noted so the schedule needs flexibility to be with the kids when their needs dictate it.

Make sure you include time for self-care.

Using a weekly planner

In the resource section is a downloadable weekly planner 2 available under creative commons and based on the Stephen Covey method that you can use to try a schedule. In the first column you list your roles and in the second column list the goal you are seeking to achieve in that role. You can add any priorities across the top. Then block in your time for the week allowing for:

  • Margins
  • Time for relationships
  • Time for self-care.

The ‘sharpen the saw’ in the bottom corner refers to ‘preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you’ 2

Don’t forget to be flexible to allow for needs as they arise.

Putting legs on it

Evaluate how you prioritise and schedule?

Is it working for you and your family? Do you have time to self-care? Do you have time to make your children feel valued?

Try the schedule if you want to and let me know how it goes (allow yourself some grace for not getting it right the first time – just look at me).

Resources

Template for Covey based weekly planner distributed under creative commons from:

http://diyplanner.com/templates/directory?sort=desc&order=Size&filter0=**ALL**&filter1=23

Hyatt, M (2011) Is that task important or merely urgent, Blog March 2011, https://michaelhyatt.com/is-that-task-important-or-merely-urgent.html

Example of Time Management Matrix available under creative commons:

http://diyplanner.com/files/Time%20Management%20Matrix%20(Final).pdf

References

  1. Stanley, A. (2011) When work & family collide, Multnomah Books, U.S.A,.p44
  2. Stephen Covey: Sharpen the saw https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit7.php accessed 7/1/17

Photo creditz; Maja Petric unsplash.com

3 steps to organise your year as a single parent family

So I was reflecting on the second day of the New Year in the shower – as you do as a single parent because in the shower and the loo, you can generally get yourself at least a few minutes before being interrupted! I was asking myself why, on the first day of my schedule, I had already blown it.  My conclusion: trying to do too much. So I went back to the drawing board and followed a process I have used over the last nearly 2 decades that has helped us plan our year as a family. We call it our family planning session – nothing to do with contraception!

As you poke your head into 2017 here’s my 3 steps and lots of tips on how to organise your year as a single parent family.

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You can experiment with the ideas and the tips in this blog to find what works for you but DO SOMETHING to create a family schedule or risk setting yourself a year of overload and being overwhelmed as you try to manage everyone’s activities and agendas for the year.

  1. Start with the big vision and map it out
  2. Create a calendar that everyone can see
  3. Prioritise and create a schedule for you (the parent) – this will be covered in the next blog

Step 1 Start with the big vision and map it out

Who will do what activity? As a single parent household this can take some planning. Some tips to help the process are:

  • Begin with a budget. How much income can be spared for activities?
  • Prioritise a wish list (or need list) for each person. This must include you the primary carer – you need something that is yours. It might be a craft, borrowing books from the library with some downtime to read, an exercise class or team sport, a walk on the beach or catching up with friends.
  • Research the options for top priorities that fit the budget.
  • Look for discounts if siblings or a child takes more than one class in the same school to keep the price down.
  • Create a draft activity calendar. Is it workable without stress? Driving in circles to drop and pick up kids in two different directions on the same night is not fun! I tried to cluster activities on the same night of the week and in the same area, so we had activity free nights.
  • Look for ways to connect with other parents to see if carpooling can be arranged.
  • Can you combine activities e.g. when my kids were at a dance class I walked with a friend in a nearby park or negotiated concurrent swimming lessons.
  • Ensure you have time together to relax and have fun as a family.

Step 2 Create a calendar that everyone can see

This helps everyone have an idea what is happening in the family. We still do this even though my kids are young adults. It looks different now that they are proficient readers and can add their own activities. A few hard lessons as teenagers were learned on not having the car available for their use as they hadn’t written an activity on the calendar and this helped create the habit!

In the early primary school days I used colours to differentiate each child, my own and family activities/appointments on the calendar, and we crossed off the days so we knew where the calendar was up to.  Later I’d print up each month through the computer to save writing the same stuff by hand and highlight in different colours each person’s activities. Birthday parties and other events were added by hand as they appeared. I tried to remember to copy it and put in the communication folder (editing out some of my bits) so their dad knew what the schedule was. Was the system perfect? No. But it did help me in particular to have some idea of what we were up to.

Step 3 Prioritise and create a schedule for you

The final step for me was to find a way to manage the many other demands on my life apart from single parenting which is where I had to learn to prioritise and create my own schedule. This will be covered in the next blog.

Good luck in the planning of your families activities for this year. May the structure lessen your stress.

Putting legs on it

Map your family activities for the year (or first semester)

Create a monthly calendar

Resources

Planning with kids: Getting organised at home – has list of relevant blog posts on this topic http://planningwithkids.com/2010/04/08/getting-organised-at-home/

Childhood 101: 10 simple ways to get your family more organised http://childhood101.com/2015/06/family-organisation-tips/

Photo credit Chris Greenhow unsplash.com

How to reduce stress as a single parent (to fit with your limited time, babysitting and financial resources)

‘Single parenting is the hardest, most emotionally challenging, fatigue-inducing and energy sapping torture I know and I really do love my kids!’ 1 I wrote those words probably ten years ago when it was the full on primary school years. Now it’s bigger kids, bigger issues (life direction, jobs and partners) and soon to be empty nest. Single parenting is stressful. Learning some techniques to manage stress is an important self-care strategy for any single parent.

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The stress of single parenting

As a single parent you know how hard it is. You have no-one to share the daily workload with. No-one to discuss issues or problem solve with. No-one to download to about your day or to care for you when you are sick. Hence, the often repeated mantra from me that you cannot single parent alone (see blogs Why every single parent shouldn’t parent alone and Increasing your support).

You also need some stress management skills.

Signs of stress

The first step in managing stress is to recognise when you are stressed instead of waiting for burn out and/or physical illness to stop you. That was usually my warning sign and it’s a bit late! It’s better to recognise some of the signs of stress and do something about it early on.

Some of the signs of stress are:

  • Muscle tension (head, neck & shoulders)
  • Feeling anxious or nervous
  • Moodiness
  • Feeling depressed
  • Nervous movement/restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Grinding teeth or clenching jaw
  • Pent up anger
  • Headache
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Poor focus/concentration

Reducing stress

As a single parent you can reduce your stress by using some of the 10 strategies to practice balance as a single parent which includes how to action time management and mindfulness, and ensure that you have support.

As a single parent you may not have the time, babysitting or financial resources to attend relaxation classes, but you can easily build some into your daily routine. You can also learn and employ techniques such as relaxation breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery. These are easy to slip into the single parent schedule. I now use a combination of all three when I go to bed each night as a quick and easy way to unwind and stop my mind from rehashing the events of the day, family issues, and prevent my mind from preparing the ‘to do’ list for tomorrow and anticipating the next days’ problems.

Let me teach you to do relaxation breathing. Watch the video by clicking here. Relaxation breathing is incorporated into other forms of relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation is designed to reduce muscle tension.  For a handout with general procedure and relaxation sequence click here. Some people with chronic conditions find progressive muscle relaxation can increase their pain so know your body and what is helpful for it.

Guided imagery is ‘like a guided day dream’2 creating mental images to take your attention to another place and time, a place of quiet and peace where you can relax. Let me take you through an exercise in guided imagery click here. In this exercise you float worries off down the river. Other scripts may have you pack your worries into a box and close the lid. While doing this exercise with my daughter, she used to ask for more time to stuff the box with her worries! Leading groups through this, most people don’t stop to open the box on the way back.  You can read guided imagery scripts to yourself to become familiar then reconstruct the scene from the script in your mind, have someone read it for you or make a recording of it and play it.

Putting legs on it

Why don’t you trial a stress reducing strategy and see if it works for you.

There are additional strategies in Huffington Post article ‘20 scientifically-backed ways to de-stress right now’.

Resources

Melnick, M. (2013) 20 scientifically-backed ways to de-stress right now http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/stress-relief-that-works_n_3842511.html

Better Health Channel: Stress

Better Health Channel: Breathing to reduce stress

Inner Health Studio: Free relaxation scripts included guided imagery, visualisation and physical relaxation techniques for personal use (see restrictions on website)

Mills, H, Reiss, N, and Dombeck, M (2008) Visualization and guided imagery techniques for stress reduction, MentalHelp.Net

Relaxation Breathing and Guided Imagery videos are part of the online course ‘Restoring Balance’ launching Tuesday 1st November.

References

  1. Legge, V (2010) New life in the mourning, Sid Harta, Australia, p 144-145
  2. Lorig, K et al. (2006). Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions – 3rd ed. Bull Publishing Company. U.S.A, 2006, p 78

Photo credit Aaron Burden www.unsplash.com

4 strategies to ease the household load as a single parent

It’s easy as a single parent to rush from one demand to the next. You have an endless ‘to do’ list that grows by the day. You live in overload, feeling overwhelmed by your schedule and the mandate of being the only adult in the household. Nothing happens in the house unless you do it or initiate it. I found 4 strategies helped me to manage the load:

  • Share the household tasks
  • Schedule
  • Margins
  • Pyjama day

You may have other strategies and I would love to hear them and share them with others.

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Share the household tasks

This is age dependent. As your kids gets bigger let them have responsibilities that are a part of the household functioning. They will learn much needed skills for adult life. I used to feel guilty that my kid’s friends from couple homes weren’t doing chores but in later life my kids were more helpful around the house and equipped when they have to live on their own.

My kids were paid a small amount of pocket money but could earn extra by completing tasks from the big chart of household jobs. The amount of money was based upon the difficulty and time required to complete the task. Some tasks were rewarded with a small amount of cash and others carried a higher monetary incentive. The kids would tick what they had done and at pocket money time I would add in the extra cash.  An unexpected benefit was knowing how long it was since someone washed the dog!

I was happy to spend the time teaching the skill so the child could learn how to do it e.g. clean the toilet, or hanging up washing so it wasn’t pegged through the middle of the garment. As the whole idea was to lessen the workload on me, I also needed to drop my expectations of the quality and resist the urge to re-clean after them.

Schedule

Scheduling is a way to balance out the activities of the family, ensuring everyone has time investing in their passion and there are times of rest. Taking the time to schedule allows you to be in control of your calendar and review opportunities as they arise to ensure you have the time and the energy to meet them.

At the start of the every year we planned what activities the kids wanted to do. We looked at the budget, what was available and its cost, and the calendar to work out what was possible with our resources.  I limited being out of the house to a couple of nights in a week, so we had down time at home. I tried to plan the activity nights so both the kids were involved in an activity at the same time, so whilst they were occupied I had time to self-care. Often I walked with a friend or along the river to feed my soul. Also I looked for classes where their friends went so we parents could car pool and I only had to drive one direction.

Margins

Margins are the blank edge on busy pieces of paper. Likewise your schedule needs margins. They are ‘the space between [ y]our load and [y]our limits’ 1.   Don’t totally fill up the calendar.  Having blank spots in the schedule allows room for delays, unexpected interruptions and new opportunities.

I learnt scheduling based on the ‘Stephen Covey’ method where you allocate blocks of time to achieve a goal rather than use a ‘to do’ list. In allocating the block of time you build spaces between them for meetings to run late or a chance to have a short time out.

Pyjama Day

Pyjama day is a chance to chill out as family.

It was a favourite in our house.  On pyjama day no-one had to do anything. You didn’t have to get dressed, I didn’t cook so we scrounged food e.g. you could eat potato chips and biscuits, whatever you could find in the cupboard and prepare yourself.   You did what relaxed you and filled your soul e.g. read, play video games, do a puzzle, sit in the sun. We also did fun stuff together like playing board games. It was a time to rest, enjoy each other and refuel ready for another time of activity.

What else helps you?

I would love to hear about your strategies and share them with others.

Putting legs on it

Try one thing and let me know if it works for you. Share something you do with me.

Resources

Crazy Busy by Kevin Deyoung

Hybels, B (2014) Simplify, Hodder & Stoughton, USA

Stephen Covey

Balance

References

  1. Deyoung, K. (2013) Crazy Busy, Crossway, U.S.A, p27

Photo credit: Kalen Emsley www.unsplash.com

10 strategies to practice balance as a single parent

I pictured my life as a single parent, wearing a pile of hats: taxi driver, cook, gardener, homework policewoman, light globe changer, everyone’s diary, and pooper scooper for our pet dog! A teetering stack balancing on my one solitary head.  Single parenting involves the art of balancing – balancing everyone’s competing needs and time. You cannot care for your children without first caring for yourself.

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It is so easy as a single parent to cut back on caring for you. I miss exercise, always with a good excuse of course! I fill rest time with emails or taking the kids somewhere. I volunteer to help others when I should be asking for help. I allow work to encroach on family time.  I crowd out my hobbies and passions with kids activities. The list goes on; more hats join the wobbly pile.

You need to be intentional and practice balance. Here are some strategies to help you do this:

10 strategies to practice balance as a single parent

The following 10 ways come from participants in the One Together course as we brainstormed how to achieve balance:

  1. Look at everyone’s needs – are there ways that more than one need can be met at once. eg I use to walk with a friend while the kids were in a dance class.
  2. Ask the other parent or others to help.
  3. Learn and practice time management skills. (see below)
  4. Review activities to maximise leisure time.
  5. Drop your standards of housekeeping, particularly if you are working. Encourage the children to help with household activities according to their age and development.
  6. Beware the expectation and obligations of friends, family and the outside world. It’s OK to look after you and say ‘NO’ sometimes.
  7. Review your working hours and budget so you work enough to meet your commitments but have as much non-work time to enjoy your children and care for yourself
  8. Don’t be so regimented in your time schedules…
  9. Spend quality time with each child whatever that looks like for them.
  10. Practice mindfulness.

Time management

There are many different ways to ‘manage’ time and prioritise the endless list of things to be done. Find one that works for you.  Two of the major differences in approach are working to a priorities list (however you determine them) or working to blocks of time. Described simply the blocks of time method means you allocate a specified time period to a role or task and when the time is finished, whether the task or role is completed you move onto the next. This can be arranged in your weekly schedule (see resources below).

Mindfulness

Being present in the moment is important. Worrying about blocks of time or other jobs on your list is a sure way to increase stress. Sometimes while I am cooking tea, I am also trying to wash the dishes, racing back to something on the computer and maybe even bringing in the washing. What invariably happens is I burn tea, can’t pour the water off the pasta down the sink because it’s full of soaking dishes, so my frustration level rises and I yell at the kids. By focusing on just one thing eg cooking tea, I can relieve my stress by staying in the moment and concentrating on the one job in front of me.

Putting legs on it

You can do a self-reflection exercise to see how well balanced you are.

Look at the 10 strategies list above and see what you are already practicing. Choose another strategy to try with your family and evaluate the result.

Download a 20 plus paged Self-care Pack by clicking below

Resources

Photo credit: Mike Birdy www.stocksnap.io

7 ways to improve your health as a single parent

As single parents our needs are always at the end of the queue. Many times we try to run on empty without caring for ourselves. Think of your car. Your car needs to be taken care of, or it won’t go anywhere! It needs to be filled with petrol (all too frequently!), the tyres have to be pumped and it needs to be serviced. You are no different. You won’t be able to care for your children if you don’t refuel and care for yourself. Therefore we need to understand the nature of our health and learn to look after ourselves better.

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The following 7 ways to improve your health may be of benefit to you. As with all things health, there is always the disclaimer –  if symptoms persist see your doctor.

Definition of health

Health is more than the absence of disease. The World Health Organization includes physical, mental and social wellbeing in their definition of health. My favourite definition is from my nursing dictionary which says health is a ‘dynamic process in which the individual is actively engaged in moving toward fulfilling his or her potential’ 1

It says health is a dynamic process; it is fluid and changing. It is not obtained once for life but you need to keep working on it. The individual is ‘actively engaged’ in pursuit of health. You need to be involved and responsible for your own health. The purpose of health is to fulfil your potential.

I am writing this post not as a health or lifestyle guru, but from the combined perspective of my working life as a nurse with a speciality in chronic condition management, and a person who lives with a chronic condition and daily practices strategies to manage my health so I can achieve my purpose in life. I am also a single parent and know the battle of self-care versus caring for the kids.

How healthy are you?

Most of us are aware of our physical health. The awareness is usually heightened only when things go wrong. Many single parents including me skimp on physical care being too busy (or too lazy!) to exercise, not eating properly, stressed out and not relaxing, and covering emotional pain with addictions (mine is chocolate).

However, there are five areas of health you need to care for yourself in and find a balance between them all: relational, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.

  • Physical health
  • Spiritual health – provides hope and meaning for life
  • Relational health – your connection to others
  • Emotional health – your reaction to the stresses of life
  • Mental health – encompasses your self-esteem and your thinking processes

To determine how you are doing in these areas click here to print out an assessment sheet to complete.

Another assessment tool is the Model for Healthy Living Assessment Wheel in the resources below.

7 ways to improve your health

  1. Take a step to improve your spiritual health. Deal with any negative emotions. Do something that makes your soul sing.  If you are a Christian connect with God.
  2. Take a step to improve your relational health. Know who you are and what you want from a relationship. Be reciprocal although this can be difficult as a single parent (see the Together section).  Commit to connecting with others.
  3. Take a step to improve your mental health. Improve your self-esteem. Monitor and control your thought life. Choose what influences you and choose how you react to circumstances and people.
  4. Take a step for your emotional health. Deal with emotions such as anger, depression and fear, firstly admitting you have them. Try journaling as way of releasing your feelings onto paper to help you sort through and identify them and express your hurts without lashing out at others. Talk to someone, either a friend or a professional counsellor.  Learn specific strategies.
  5. Take a step for your physical health. You are probably overloaded with information on exercise and nutrition from which you can choose a step. Or you can look for ways to bring rest and relaxation to reverse the stress response in your life and schedule them into your calendar: a massage, meditation, prayer, warm bath. Maybe a date with yourself!
  6. Take a step to ensure you care for all areas of your health and have balance between them. Don’t just focus on what is easy or what dominates your life.
  7. Take a step to balance between caring for others and caring for yourself. This is one of the most difficult things as a single parent when most of your time and energy flows towards your children. This may mean learning how to use boundaries and limits, or sharing the load with someone else, or taking time to invest in self care.

Putting legs on it

Take one step.  And don’t forget to laugh and have fun.

Download a 20 plus paged Self-care Pack by clicking on the button below

 

Resources

Model for Healthy Living

References

1. Miller, B.F. and Keane, C.B. (1987) Encyclopedia and dictionary of medicine, nursing, and allied health – fourth edition. B. Saunders Company, U.S.A, , p542

Photo credit: Danielle McInnes www.unsplash.com