Life is different for single moms. Moms who live with partners have more flexibility in their schedules. You know this because you live it every day. You also understand how this lifestyle makes it challenging to focus on your health.
While you would love to take a class every day at the gym, you feel guilty doing so because that means you will be later in picking up your children at daycare. While you would be fine eating salmon and a salad every night at dinner, you know your kids eat better when more kid-friendly options are available. When you aren’t working, you are with your kids or taking care of the house, or grocery shopping, or sleeping.
How in the world do you fit in the time to take care of your health when you have so many responsibilities?
Here are three things that even the busiest moms can do to improve their health.
Until your kids are old enough to stay by themselves for an hour, you may need to exercise at home instead of your favorite gym.
While this may not be the ideal situation, it has some benefits. First, your kids will see you exercising and will learn that this is an integral part of your daily routine. Kids learn from example, and you will be setting a good one.
Second, exercising at home is cheaper. You’ll save money by canceling expensive gym memberships. You’ll save in gas and transportation, and you can wear your old scrubby workout clothes at home since no one will see you.
Finally, it’s easier than ever before to work out at home. Search YouTube for free exercise classes. It may take a while to find your favorite online instructor, but once you do, working out will be as easy as sliding out of bed in the morning and putting on your running shoes.
Happy people are healthier people. Choose to be happy.
Analyze your thoughts. What do you think about during your commute? When you enter your home in the evening with your kids, what thoughts pop into your mind? What do you talk about for hours with your best friend?
We know you feel overwhelmed and have so much to do. We know you worry about whether or not you are a good mom, daughter, sister, and friend. We know you worry about paying the mortgage and whether or not you will ever be able to take your kids to Disney World. Perhaps you are angry with your ex, and spend a lot of your time thinking about how the relationship went sour.
The truth is that all of those thoughts and worries are having a detrimental effect on your health. Try to retrain your mind to think positive thoughts. Feel gratitude for the gifts you have been given. Find joy in the little things in life.
How do you retrain your mind that has for so long focused on the not-so-great stuff of your life? Try to leave positive quotes or aphorisms where you will see them every day. Put a message on your bathroom mirror. Leave a note near your front door. Place one on the fridge and your child’s bedroom door. Leave a note for yourself in your car or on your laptop screen. Change the signs or messages when you find yourself ignoring the words.
If toxic people always surround you, pay attention to the tone of your conversation. Perhaps talk with those people less, and when you do, try to change the subject, so the topic is more positive.
People blow their New Year’s Resolutions because they aren’t specific enough, and they have too many. What is one thing that you could do to improve the quality of your life?
It could be as simple as limiting your alcohol consumption to one day a week. Perhaps you slump at your laptop and need to work on improving your posture. Maybe you need to limit the time you spend on your phone. Do you need to get more sleep at night? Why not set a bedtime for yourself?
Life is short. We need constant reminders of this. Seconds, minutes, and hours are ticking by, but how are we spending our time? Are we using this time to become better human beings, or are we wasting it by complaining or fretting about all the trivial stuff on our to-do list? Make a decision to live a better, healthier, happier life.
This article was originally posted at Midlife Single Mommy.