How to relax when you have a job that never ends
We all know how important it is to be able to find calm during times of stress, to have a solid self-care routine and to leave the world’s challenges at the door. Now making that happen, on the other hand, is more difficult to figure out—especially for those of us with the never-ending job description of Solo Mom.
Here are 10 supereasy ideas for you to choose from. Pick one or two to start with, and feel free to mix and match. Find something here that works for you and begin to peel back some of that daily stress.
1. Turn off your devices as soon as you get home. Our bodies can ache from molding to our beeping and beckoning phones and computers all day. I find it so easy to let the workday drag out late into the night if I don’t make it a point to shut it all off as soon as I come home for the day. Turn it off, and tune into the much more important voices within the walls of your home.
2. Write it all down. Brain dump any lingering thoughts and to-do items on a list. Start a gratitude journal to record positive observations or stories about your day. I’ve even found comfort in creating a blog to write my favorite things about being a single parent at every age and stage, my intentions for each month, and other thoughts that make me happy. Learn more about the psychological benefits of writing on ESME.
3. Try taking the deepest breath you have taken yet this year. Filling your lungs with air is an incredible stretch and massage to the center of your body. See how much you can fill your lungs right now! You have this trick at your disposal any moment of the day—use it!
4. Share some tea with your kid. Our favorites are lemon balm and peppermint. It’s a warm and cozy ritual—and fun to give a toast to each other at the end of the day.
5. Do a puzzle. Use a different part of your brain, boost your gray matter, zone out. This one works for us because my kid loves puzzles, too. Don’t like puzzles? Try crosswords, Sudoku, knitting, coloring, cross-stitching, or a paint-by-numbers kit.
6. Have an easy meal plan. Having a simple meal schedule has saved my sanity after a long day. Monday is tamales and fish, Tuesday is veggies and rice, Wednesday is pasta . . . you get the idea. My shopping list and meal preparations are no-brainers. And a weekly meal plan can always include ordering in or meal kits. Having meals or groceries delivered every once in a while (or often) can be a huge win for Solo Moms.
7. Go for an evening walk. Get that last bit of anxious energy out, and feel the evening air on your skin. This is great for parents of small babies trying to regulate daytime and/or nighttime sleeping schedules—but it’s great at any age and it makes a great family tradition, too.
8. Invite a friend over for dinner. Maybe it’s a friend who doesn’t have a child and has been hard to keep in touch with, or maybe another Solo Mom and her kid(s). I keep hearing that you become like the people you hang out with—so choose accordingly!
9. Get your yin yoga on. If you aren’t already on it, get on this bandwagon now. Yin yoga is a slower, more meditative style that brings on a lot of calm. Here is one simple flow, and another. This is a way to care for your body and mind at the same time—as reflected in Michelle Williams’s sentiments.
10. Pamper your body. After your kid(s) are in bed, try a new self-care ritual to rest the body that has been carrying you around all day long. Try dry brushing and Ayurvedic sesame-oil massage. Or a bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Or maybe give yourself a pedicure and foot massage while you have a facial mask on. Need more ideas? Check out ESME’s simple but indulgent self-care ideas.
Right now I’m going to take my deepest breath, put the kettle on for some tea, and run a bath with a few drops of vetiver and rose oils. I’m so ready for a peaceful evening. What will you choose?
Beck List is an environmental scientist and writer living with her five-year-old future comedian in California. She has lived through plenty of her own trials and tribulations—and you can read more tips on her blog, BeckList.
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