Prioritizing self-care during the holidays is paramount for many people. The same sentiment is more than applicable to single parents. They tend to give their all to have a grand household and get everyone gifts this season.
Hit pause and collect yourself first, though. Execute a few self-care activities to freshen up and take a deep breath.
The Importance of Self-Care as a Single Parent
About 23% of U.S. children under 18 live in single-parent households with different stories to tell. However, every story has two sides, and a single parent’s tale is often forgotten. After all, they carry out their responsibilities very well. But just because they handle it gracefully doesn’t mean it is simple or easy.
Being a single parent can influence your physical and mental health daily, and it’s more apparent during the holidays. Stress is abundant thanks to various gatherings and shopping sprees due to societal and personal pressure.
While it is vital to keep yourself glued together, a break is essential to keep your body and mind intact. Your kids will be grateful that you will put yourself first, too. After all, they often witness how selfless you can be during these times.
Self-Care Tips to Get Through the Holidays
Self-care can look different for many single parents, depending on their stress levels and interests. Here’s a collection of suggestions to make the holidays more cheery.
Order Some Delicious Food
Cooking your family’s favorite meal is always a joy, but take-out can be a good substitute occasionally. On the days that you want to be a little more lax, Doordash dinner and call it a day. You can enjoy the food with your loved ones and bond together without worrying about prep time or cleanup.
Set and Stick to a Budget
Single parents may experience more financial stress during this time of year. They shoulder all the holiday expenses independently, after all. Managing your money and setting a budget can be a helpful self-care activity that puts things in perspective. Know what expenses are necessary and which ones you could reduce.
Listen To Your Favorite Music
Letting your kid play their songs or putting on Christmas songs for friends is thoughtful. Try to extend the same consideration towards yourself and listen to the artists and songs you adore. Allowing yourself to enjoy your music can help clear your mind and lessen your stress in the long run.
Go For a Short Walk
There are many errands this holiday season, but try to find time for a short walk. Set no destination and go out without rushing to bring things home immediately. Taking a short stroll and recollecting your thoughts before facing other people can be free.
Journal the Good and the Bad
If your thoughts seem overwhelming, put them to paper. Write things you’re grateful for and vent on what’s been bothering you lately. You can take as much time as you need with this self-care practice. After all, it’s a great way to stay indoors and keep an eye on the kids while doing something for yourself.
Reach Out to Loved Ones
Even with clearing your head, there may be some things that you want to talk about out loud. Connecting with family and friends willing to lend an ear this holiday season is good. Having someone hear you out is a validating form of self-care. They may also have some helpful advice that you can try out.
Meditate and Pray
For many people, turning to God is an ideal form of self-care. Give yourself a moment to meditate or pray during the hustle and bustle of winter. Consider going to a local church near you, too. Offering your gratitude can fill you with a sense of purpose and enough drive to get through the holidays.
Have Spontaneous Nights With the Kids
Christmas is all about tradition, but the lull of a constant routine can be harsh on you and your family. Consider a more spontaneous activity like ice skating or driving to a different town for a day. Ask your kids for suggestions on what they want to do, as they may be eyeing something you two can do together.
Arrange a Night Out
If your kids are considering a sleepover or your parents want to take them in for a bit, say yes and make plans. Having some personal time through a night out can feel empowering. Whether you wish to arrange a party with friends or have it all to yourself, get out of the house and have fun!
Practice Single Parent Self-Care
For the season of giving, do yourself a favor by putting yourself first. Give yourself some self-care and alone time, whether an hour, a day, or more. Try one of the tips above and see how much better you’ll feel.
Beth is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She writes about parenting, fitness, mental health, and nutrition. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag.