Becoming a parent is an arduous task on its own. However, things get more challenging and critical when you are a single parent. It can be a roller-coaster ride in terms of physical, emotional, financial, and socially challenging moments. Now, this creates the ideal environment for stress and burnout. However, stressing over these moments will never help you solve any of your difficulties. Considering Mother’s Day 2023 as a reminder, we have compiled a list of strategies that can help single mothers deal with burnout and keep their mental health in great shape.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Sonal Anand, a psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, who shared some tips to manage burnout symptoms in single mothers. You can also use these suggestions to get some relief while you manage your anxiety and stress levels.
Dr Anand says, “Being a single mother, whether by choice or by circumstance, may be a difficult undertaking that can lead to a serious burnout. A kid is always the primary concern for parents, and single moms are no exception. At times, single mothers attempt to overdo things in the hope that their efforts to fill the vacuum left by the other person would be beneficial. However, while they strive to provide their children with the best of everything, single mothers frequently experience an internal conflict of feelings.”
Moreover, financial issues, managing domestic tasks, societal pressure, work-life balance, and a lack of time for their kids are all common problems among single mothers which becomes the cause of stress, leading to a burnout. So, here’s some advise for single mothers to take a breather and relax.
Being a single parent, there can be many struggles but you can get through this. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How to deal with single mother burnout?
Here are 5 tips you can follow to avoid burnout and stress:
1. Set aside time for yourself
We understand that being a single mother can be difficult, but don’t be too harsh on yourself. Make some time for yourself; you deserve it. Consider how a physically, psychologically, and emotionally inadequate mother may continue to operate indefinitely. So, to avoid burnout, create a routine for yourself. Set up your skincare regimen, work out or do yoga, hang out with your buddies, read, or simply sleep. Do something that would revitalise and calm you so that you can take care of your child with utmost energy.
2. Avoid feeling guilty
Those tiny voices in your brain won’t stop telling you that you’re not putting in enough effort, that you’re a terrible single mother, and that you can’t take time for yourself at the expense of your child. Remember, you need to keep your calm and not let mom guilt take over! For single mothers, the guilt of not being there for their children can be tiring, but it is vital to remember that you cannot multitask all the time, and that is perfectly acceptable.
3. Start your day with ease
Like every mother, their top priorities are focused on raising a happy, healthy, and loving child. But due to the stress of fulfilling their responsibilities, single mothers frequently run the risk of getting a burnout. You have to begin the day by managing the stress so that you can have a peaceful day. Stop multitasking and begin your day slowly, maybe with a cup of your favourite tea or coffee. Make a plan for the day in advance and stick to it. Do not stress yourself if something is left behind; instead, keep track of small wins and move on to the next task without delay. Take some time to encourage yourself because you’re already doing a fantastic job!
4. Take care of your mental health
A mother’s mental health is directly related to her child’s mental health. Anxiety and despair may quickly infiltrate your thoughts and interfere with your mental wellness. As a result, do not fall victim to it. If necessary, treatments or counselling will be provided. However, avoid doing anything that would harm your mental health. Declutter your thoughts by doing yoga, meditating, and going on frequent trips with your child.
5. Be there for your child
No technology or other distraction can ever fill the gap left by a parent that a youngster feels. Instead of fighting to offer materialistic things, try to spend as much time as possible with your child. A warm hug and a grin from your child may relieve all your tension of a long and exhausting day. So go on trips, play games, prepare meals, read, watch films, and do all of the wonderful things together.
6. Ask for support
There’s no doubt that as a single parent, your child is a big support system. With lots of responsibility on your shoulder, single parents can often feel lonely, especially if they spend most of their time caring for their children and have little opportunity to socialize with other adults. These emotions may exacerbate feelings of isolation and depression. That’s why you may need support. Asking for assistance from your family and friends is nothing to be ashamed of. Go for it if you’re experiencing burnout symptoms and need professional assistance. Anyone’s support can reduce feelings of loneliness and offer emotional support.
Dear moms, start following these tips for the sake of yours and your child’s mental well-being!