Whether it’s stress from the COVID-related lockdowns, or the daily grind, we all could benefit from good self-care resources to help us cope and thrive as single mothers. Typically, when we are weary, depressed, or anxious, we tend to spend more time on activities that don’t help us with regaining peace and inner resilience we need so much. Burning a lot of time on social media, binging on TV series, and overeating are some of the “classic” escape routes we gravitate to. We all know this, and yet, long-established habits are difficult to break.
When we spend most of our time on activities mentioned above, we usually don’t have time (or desire) to research and use great resources available to help us restore better emotional balance. Yet, when we focus our attention away from things that contribute to more stress and on things that produce a sense of peace and well-being we can alter our daily lives. This is true for all people in general, but especially for single mothers who are carrying an extra load of responsibilities on a daily basis.
This post was inspired by my own lack of active self-care and a realization that I need to stop doing what doesn’t serve me well as a woman, mother, and a human being. So I invite you to this journey to a greater peace and life satisfaction together with me. I hope that by sharing some free resources to assist us along the way, we can all feel more secure, relaxed, and content on a daily basis, regardless of external events!
A pandemic might come and go, but there always will be something that’s out of our control and creates stress in our lives. Being ready to tackle whatever comes our way is easier when we know self-care habits to help us persevere and thrive.
Free Resources For Mental Well-Being
I think we all have heard of mindfulness, but ironically it is the very thing that we forget to be mindful of! Mindfulness is a simple and quick pause-and-focus exercise you can take throughout your day. Whenever you are washing your hands, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or driving/walking simply choose to spend a 5 minutes on focusing on one single thing that brings you positive emotions.
It can be something visual or you are a visual person, like a smile of your child, or your favorite color or bird that you choose to think of during your mindful time. Or something auditory or tactile. Whatever it is, just simply imagine or feel it and let the image or sound be the only thing that is on your mind for those 5 minutes. Try to focus on every tiny detail about that thing.
It might sound unbelievable, but by taking just a few of these easy mindful breaks daily, you will feel much more settled and relaxed. I am feeling relaxed just writing about it!
There are quite a few digital resources and apps that were designed to help you cope with mental pressure. Apps like Headspace, Happify and a number of other popular apps are there to help you cope and strengthen your mental well being. It’s great to see that the importance of mental well being is much more recognized today! The Very Well Mind site offers a list of top mental health apps on the market today. Most of them are free to use so give them a try to see which one works best for you.
Just make sure not to spend too much time on your gadgets, even if it is for de-stressing purposes. It is a proven fact that too much time digital time is contrary to developing more peace and serenity in human life.
Free Resources For Spiritual Well-Being
Whether you draw your spiritual strength from the Bible or a different book with a spiritual focus, reading something that connects you to a force larger than yourself is a great way to bring more peace and contentment to your daily life. I personally find that reading the Bible revives my soul and produces hope that is unlike any other. So when I fee out of wack spiritually, it’s typically because I neglected to focus my attention on this source of my peace.
You might find that there is a book that has nothing to do with spiritual literature, but produces peaceful thoughts and a greater sense of “ok’ness” in your life. That’s something to pay attention to and re-read whenever you need more resilience and serenity. As long as you feel more secure, relaxed, unhurried and capable, this is something to come back to time and time again.
Effective Grounding Techniques
Grounding techniques work really well when you are experience episodes of anxiety, worry or panic. They are called grounding techniques due to their effectiveness in calming your senses during the acute states of worry and fear by effective re-focusing.
It’s hard to believe but until much later in my life I did not even know that grounding techniques existed! They would have been so useful to me in my earlier life! However, it is never too late to begin using them.
There are some very simple and highly effective grounding techniques described by BetterHelp counseling resource. As it is all very individual, I suggest you try a few of them and see which are easiest and most effective for you personally.
Free Resources For Mommy-and-Child Well Being
Animals and Nature
Positive effects of nature and animals on human well being have been proved numerous times. That’s why we surround our homes with plants and paintings of nature, and strive to have some kind of connection to the animal world. It is no longer surprising to see therapy pets and emotional support pet companions who can literally transform the way people feel.
By spending some time with animals and nature, you and your child can both feel more relaxed and connected. If you do not have a pet of your own, you can always watch birds together (or any other type of animals abound where you live). There something magical that happens when we simply observe nature. Touching tree bark or breathing in fresh air as you go for a walk with your child will renew a sense of better well being in both of you.
You do not have to be a great painter to help yourself and your child to channel feelings through art. Any media will do for this purpose. Painting, drawing, pouring paint, or building something are all equally effective in focusing your mind in a positive way. During the process of creation, our minds quiet down and reduce the amount of thoughts- noise that can preoccupy our minds otherwise.
Artistic creation is also very helpful for your child to express feelings that might be hard to express verbally. Being in close proximity to each other as you paint of build something has another positive effect of togetherness that is so good for all of us.
There are many other free ways to bring more peace and calm into your life. Color therapy, singing (or humming), volunteering, taking a warm shower (or bath) are all great for reminding yourself that everything is ok and you are doing your best in any given moment in time. As single mothers we can get caught up in a vicious cycle of errands, work, and child care, leaving us drained, unappreciated and worried.
At first, you might have to schedule specific time to do any of the above self-care resources. But by doing it regularly it will become something you come back to more naturally and will serve you and your children well in a long term.