"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."—Kurt Vonnegut
29 Tips to Overcome Overdrive
Running on fumes? Out of gas? Stuck on the solo-parent sidetrack? Is "Me time" a distant memory in your rearview mirror as you speed out of control at 150 miles per hour with no brakes?
You're not alone.
With little time to spare in the Solo Parent Motocross, most single mothers push aside their most basic needs—even rest and nourishment.
When the momentum of fear, frustration, exhaustion, and stress wins, Mommy loses. You're tempted to run away or scream, "I want my mommy!" or let the inner mommy beast roar cathartic, but guilt-producing growls.
To survive everyday chaos, find ways to refresh yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Running on empty? Try these self-care pit stops:
- Take a shower.
- Go potty when the urge hits.
- Hide a stash of the postmodern mom's valium—chocolate. Take your daily dose.
- Sleep every chance you get.
- Take mini breaks throughout the day.
- Exercise and eat healthy, nutritious foods and snacks to increase energy.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking less caffeine and more water.
- Save time by paying bills online, use the Crock-Pot® or TiVo® your favorite shows.
- Swing through a drive thru for a favorite mommy treat.
- Simplify your schedule and life.
- You can't do it all. Go ahead and put off today's 'To-Do's' until tomorrow.
- Give children age-appropriate household tasks and responsibilities.
- Seek professional help for hormonal havoc, depression, or extreme physical exhaustion.
- Say no to toxic friends and substances.
- Quit pining for your pre-solo-parent lifestyle.
- Gossip and gripe less. Instead, start a gratitude journal.
- Shave, pluck, file, brush, polish, and aromatherapy bathe at least once a month.
- Save your pennies to splurge on an occasional massage or pedicure.
- Keep commitments to outside activities balanced. Volunteer, only if you want to.
- Limit technological invasion. Turn off your TV, cell phone, email, and computer.
- Stay in touch with your identity, interests, talents, and friends.
- Build relationships and join support networks with other solo parents.
- Ask for and accept offers of help to babysit your child to ease stress.
- Create family traditions and memories.
- Take your child to the park, sit on a bench, soak in the sun, and watch him play.
- Laugh—long, hard and often.
- Snuggle and pray with your children at day's end.
- Meditate on an uplifting reading every day. Pray more and celebrate every day as a gift from God.
- Let go of guilt and unrealistic expectations about the mom you're 'supposed' to be. There are no perfect Supermoms—just moms supernaturally empowered by Addiyr Jehovah [ad-deer' ye-ho-vaw']—The Mighty Lord, God.