The Best Tips On Prioritizing Recovery When You’re A Single Parent
by Michelle Peterson
Making your addiction recovery a priority can be a challenge, but when you’re a single parent, it’s even harder to focus on yourself and your needs. Making sure the kids have everything they need for school and activities, ferrying everyone around, and working long hours all take a toll on your energy level and mood, so it’s important to set a schedule for the family and stick to it. This way, you can make time to take care of yourself and stay motivated.
Here are some of the best tips on how to make your recovery a success while you’re a single parent.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and many single parents find that to be true. It can be overwhelming to do the work of both parents and hold down a job at the same time, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have friends and family who are willing to lend a hand–for babysitting or picking up the kids from school, for instance–ask for assistance and, if necessary, work out a trade. If you’re asking a fellow parent, offer to lend a hand to them by starting a carpool system in which you can take turns getting the kiddos to school.
Workout every day
It can be difficult to find time to get in exercise every day, but it’s important to stay active
. Daily exercise can help boost your mood, increase your strength and energy levels, and keep you healthy and motivated. Use your lunch break to get in a good walk, or set your alarm a little earlier so you can get active before you begin the day. Thirty minutes of brisk activity should keep you in good shape and elevate your self-esteem, too.
Set a schedule
Staying on top of things and keeping your emotions in check are much easier when you have a good schedule. Sit down and think about your daily activities and write down some goals. Do the kids have a strict bedtime? Do you? Adequate rest is imperative when you’re in recovery, and if the kids have a specific bedtime it will be easier for them to get some good sleep, which can help their performance in school and in keeping their attitudes in check.
Taking good care
of yourself is a big part of recovery, whether that means eating right or finding time to do something you love. If at all possible, get in some alone time, either when the kids are in bed or when they’re at school, and focus on your needs. Read a book, go for a swim, head to a long lunch with a friend. Find healthy ways to make yourself happy and remember to practice them every day.
As far as your diet goes, consult your doctor about what might be best for you and figure out small ways to make positive changes. For instance, cutting back on sugary drinks, replacing refined sugars with natural ones, and adding more fruits and veggies to your meals.
Find ways to have fun
It can be difficult to juggle your recovery with everyday life, but as a parent, it’s important to find ways to keep things light and fun.
Bonding time can include playing games outside when the weather is nice, going for a swim, talking over dinner, or just keeping a routine at bedtime. Read a book together and take turns doing silly voices for the characters.
Making sure your recovery is a success, whether you’re past involves opiate or alcohol addiction, doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little patience and some time, you can learn how to balance all the important things in your life.
Michelle Peterson has been in recovery for several years. She started RecoveryPride.org to help eliminate the stigma placed on those who struggle with addiction. Michelle believes the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame but of pride. You may contract Michelle through her website.