My life seems to have been filled with a disproportionate amount of ups and downs, problems, worries and wonderfully brilliant highs. I will not go into too much detail about my circumstances but after being a single parent for almost four years now, I have had very, very good days and rubbish, awful days. Just like any parent, really. This post will focus on single parenthood even though some points will resonate with parents in general.
So, how do you stay positive when you are feeling absolutely rubbish/have been sitting on your own worrying about everything/you are absolutely exhausted from the three or more jobs you have (in addition to looking after your children, pets and home)? Here are a few ideas:
1. Get into a good routine.
I find that my diary is a massive help in setting out a good routine for myself. It helps me to focus on what I need to do and where I need to be. I also do not forget things as much. My short term memory is terrible so the more help I can get, the better.
2. Feel grateful for what you have.
You can often get lulled into a false sense of life being ‘unfair.’ Sometimes life IS unfair but I try to think of the positives that I have gained from disappointments.
3. Do not dwell on problems.
When you are a single parent, in my experience, it is very easy to sit and think things through on your own during the evenings. Make sure you have something to stop your mind wandering off into the ‘what ifs’ and any negativity you experience. To do this, I blog, listen to music, focus on my work, call or text friends or family, get lost in the world of Twitter for a while or watch Eastenders to snap me out of it.
4. Take your time to process problems.
Ok, this may contradict point 3 but even though I think that rumination is not a way to stay positive, I also think that it is important to be able to process any negativity in life. If something awful has happened, think about it, work through it, work out how you will go forward after you have had this upset. We are all human. Skipping on from having a problem to immediately ignoring it and carrying on as if nothing had happened, is not something I would recommend. It will come back to plague you later.
5. Have a good support network of family and friends.
I know that this can be difficult, dependant on the situation you are in. For me, I talk a lot to my family and spend as much time as I can chatting to my friends via social media. Unfortunately, working stupid hours per week as well as having limited money and fitting meet ups around my commitments, the children’s commitments and the commitments of my friends, I find it increasingly difficult to meet up with them. But I know they are there for me and I am there for them. Technology is wonderful in this respect. A quick message here and there on WhatsApp or Facebook does absolute wonders to lifting your mood.