30 Ways to Take Care of Yourself as a Single Parent

How to Avoid Single Parent Burnout & Tend to Your Own Needs

Woman listening to earphones on bed
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When we're busy taking care of others, one of the very first things we neglect is taking care of ourselves. For many single moms and dads, this can lead to single parent burnout. To avoid this, take some time today to do something just for you. It doesn't have to require a babysitter, and it doesn't have to take up much of your time. The simple act of practicing intentional self-care can prevent burnout, help you feel stronger, restore your sense of peace, and fill you with hope for what lies ahead.

Self Care Strategies to Help Single Parents Avoid Burnout

  1. Take a long walk.
  2. Check out a yoga video or DVD from your local library, and make time to do it twice a week.
  3. Read a fiction book or short story that you can totally lose yourself in.
  4. Write your life story.
  5. Daydream.
  6. Try a new recipe.
  7. Avoid single parent burnout by getting a babysitter and go to a movie alone.
  8. Write a letter to a friend.
  9. Smile.
  10. Set the timer, close your eyes, and breathe deeply for five minutes.
  11. Read a magazine.
  12. Clean your house - it's a great stress reliever!
  13. Sit outside and breathe fresh air.
  14. Get up fifteen minutes early so you can linger over a cup of coffee.
  15. Swap play dates with a neighbor so you can each enjoy a few minutes of solitude.
  16. Bake a scrumptious dessert just for you.
  17. Re-read something that has been especially encouraging to you.
  18. Write in a journal.
  19. Go to a park and sit on the swings with your kids.
  20. Go to bed an hour early.
  21. Watch the sunset.
  22. Listen to soothing music.
  23. Grow something, such as a house plant or fresh herbs.
  24. Sit with a cup of hot chocolate or some hot tea.
  25. Surround yourself with pictures of the people you love and things you care about.
  26. Give yourself permission to say "No" to something you really don't have time for or are not interested in.
  27. Say "Yes" to something you'd really like to do!
  28. Express your creativity.
  29. Lend a hand to someone else.
  30. Hug your kids!

What helps you avoid single parent burnout? Listen to your body, heart, and mind. When you need a break, take one. Make arrangements to your kids to spend time with your ex, a friend, or extended family members and take a little 'me time.' You'll be glad you did!