“I didn’t get a break”, she said. So many questions arose in my head as I swallowed that pill. Did you not get a break or did you not take a break? There is a big difference, I am learning. I am not sure if that is an archaic way of thinking or if self-care really is just this trend that we have bought into, giving us all excuses to let the chips fall where they may. What I do know is, at some point we have all reached a tipping point, recognizing it was time to take a break from whatever, for however long to step away, breathe, regroup, and refresh. Now, thanks to the evolving mental health narrative and social media, this is called self-care.
Once the term initially stepped on the scene, it was associated with bubble baths, massages and mani, and pedis. However, what we have now discovered is, self-care is actually anything that we do on purpose, in order to take care of our emotional, physical and mental health. So, self-care can be something absolutely simple like, take a nice candlelit bath at the end of the week. Or it can be something that requires a little more effort like, learning to set boundaries so that you aren’t overworked and taxed by your family at home.
For single moms, the notion of self-care can be quite convoluted. There are a lot of variables that can attribute to self-care or the lack thereof, for a single mom. There could be minimal or no support, which might make finding time alone a challenge. In some cases, it is just mom and her child(ren). Alone time can be practically impossible. While self-care for a single-mom is challenging enough and kudos to the ‘Rona Virus for making it even more confounding.
Self-care is a simple concept but in the life of single mommyhood it’s also been something easy to overlook, often. Now that we are forced to adjust to the new normal of quarantine and social distancing, this theory of self-care is becoming a bit perplexing.
In my quest to still show up for myself whilst being cooped up in the house, with nowhere to go and no one to see, other than the kid, I have come up with these self-care ideas for single mommies while we quarantine.
1. Practice gratefulness – Don’t have time to write a full journal entry? My son (along with grandma) gifted me a Blessing Box. Each morning, I take a sheet of paper and write down just one thing I am grateful for.
2. Write alone time into your daily routine – tell your kid that every day at your preferred time (seemingly the same time every day) you will be designating thirty min-one hour to yourself, no interruptions.
3. Take a bath
4. Use nap time to your advantage – While your child(ren) is asleep use that time for yourself
5. Read fiction
6. Say No- give yourself permission to say no to things that inundate you or things you are not interested in
7. Enjoy nature – even if it’s just 15 minutes on your balcony, fresh air does the body, mind, and spirit good.
9. Sleep – We tend to try to take advantage of the alone time when our kid finally goes to sleep. We find ourselves sleepy yet yearning for the time alone. It’s ok to just go to sleep. Rest is best.
10. Trash TV– The Real Housewives of ATL is my favorite. Sometimes the escape of my real-life helps take the edge. Find a guilty pleasure TV show and indulge.
We are ending Week 3 of our “safer at home” orders, I think (I can’t remember what day of the week it is, so I have lost track). I can’t say that I have regularly and actively cared for myself with intention but I am noticing the more that I make it a routine, it becomes easier. What are you doing to take care of yourself? Are you following me on Instagram? Check out my stories for more self-care tips during our quarantine time.