Single parenting stress can affect your health, alter your perspective and sour your mood, even on the best of occasions. Although some stress is unavoidable, there are steps you can take to keep it to a minimum and inject some welcome serenity into the mix.
Single parents are doing the work of at least two people, and there are bound to be some shortfalls. If you're a great housekeeper but a lousy bookkeeper, then you're likely worried about handling the finances. If you're a whiz with numbers but can't even successfully microwave a frozen entrée, then you're probably concerned about domestic issues. No one is great at everything, and stress is like the steam in a pressure cooker that builds because of concerns over what you can't or don't know how to do. Start reducing stress now by identifying what triggers it. Some of the best single parenting tips you'll ever employ will be about ways to lighten the load by eliminating stress.
If your single parent stress involves finances, then take an online class that will help you understand money management better. If you have money worries, get help. You can do this by reaching out to a creditor to come up with a more reasonable payment schedule or asking relatives for an infusion of cash to deal with the current crisis. Without attention, whatever is bothering you will sap your energy and jaundice your outlook, so deal with stress-related issues sooner rather than later. Sometimes, even doing something small to address a problem, like researching a list of possible resources, can help you start to feel more in control and dial down the stress you're feeling.
Another component of stress is expectation. Beyond what you have to do to survive, like keeping a roof over your head and food on the table, are the things you think you should do. If you're a perfectionist, chances are the list is pretty long -- longer than you can manage. Single parenting articles are loaded with suggestions on how to cram more into your day and still look great, smell great and have a winning smile. The result is that you pile on artificial stress by thinking that the things you want to do, like washing the windows or volunteering as a docent at your local nature preserve, are things you have to do.
One of the nicest parenting strategies you can employ for yourself in the short term is to put away many of these ideas about what you should be doing with your time. Concentrate on keeping things simple for a while. Life doesn't have to be a seven course meal.