Developing new habits and maintaining them while staying home during quarantine can sometimes be quite the challenge, especially for single moms. More often than not, single moms end up with no time to prioritize their own needs as they’re constantly pulled in different directions every day. If you fall into this category as a solo mom, you’re not alone. Instead of creating impractical expectations for yourself in an attempt to reach unrealistic goals, consider looking for healthy habits you can incorporate into your existing routine. Remember, there is always time for you if you know where to look for it.
Here Are Healthy Habits Newly Single Moms Can Practice at Home During Quarantine
Get 15 Minutes of Exercise
Whether you exercise regularly or you haven’t had the motivation to while stuck at home, there is no denying that even 15 minutes of exercise can impact your health. Beyond the physical effects, exercise can have a much more desirable impact on your mental health, which is something many of us have struggled with over the last year. According to an article by Parents.com, one common habit shared by very happy single moms is exercise. If you’ve found yourself experiencing more mood swings than usual or you’re struggling to maintain a certain level of happiness post-divorce, try to add in some kind of physical activity. Take your kids for a walk as a replacement for PE class or have an impromptu dance party whenever you have to clean up the house.
The point is, get your body moving, and deepen your understanding of exercise beyond just the physical aspect. Treating exercise as an outlet for mental health can sometimes be a better motivator to get your steps in! It’s also a great way to beat those COVID-19 quarantine blues.
Have Non-Negotiable Quiet Time
No matter how busy your schedule may be, forming the habit of having non-negotiable quiet time is a crucial part of getting your mind in the right place after a divorce. Regardless if your babies are small or old, there are some windows of time either early in the morning or later at night where your house is likely completely silent, so make sure you capitalize on this time.
Create a DIY door hanger for your bedroom that indicates when you shouldn’t be disturbed and verbalize this to the rest of your family members. This quiet time doesn’t need to be any longer than 30 minutes and can involve a variety of activities, preferably the ones that make you feel the most at ease. From taking a longer shower in the morning while listening to a favorite podcast, to finishing off your day with a new book, the options are endless!
You can also try and make an effort to avoid snoozing your alarm in the morning if the early hours are the only time you have to enjoy a moment alone. Having time to yourself as a single mom allows you to have something that’s just yours after spending hours tending to the needs of everyone else.
Make Hygiene a Priority
During divorce – and particularly during quarantine – it can be difficult to pick yourself up and take care of your basic needs, which is why keeping up with your hygiene early on is essential. A surefire way to feel your best after going through a difficult season in life is to keep your body feeling clean. There are plenty of hygiene mistakes you can fix and focus on in your current routine to achieve this goal.
A few hygiene mistakes you might not know you’re making include neglecting your feet, wearing the wrong underwear, and not drinking enough water. It’s no secret that single moms are always on their feet, which can cause extra wear and tear on their skin and heels. Try to incorporate a healthy foot cream into your routine if you’ve been noticing some dry patches or calluses recently, and don’t forget to give your feet some attention in the shower as well!
Another simple hygiene hack single moms can make a habit of is to choose quality cotton underwear over other fabrics, as cotton provides comfort while also preventing odor. Aside from odor, intimates made of cotton offer just the right amount of breathability, making them a stronger guard against infections. This will also give you an excuse to ditch any undergarments that might remind you of your ex.
Finally, make sure you’re drinking the right amount of water each day and try to set goals for yourself every hour to make this more of a habit. While many single moms rely on the caffeine of coffee or soda to get them through the day, opting for H20 over something sugary will help you avoid burnout and unwanted blemishes. Prioritizing your hygiene by adding a few extra easy steps to your routine during the COVID-19 quarantine is the perfect habit for feeling healthy all year long.
Practice Being Vulnerable
Learning to be more vulnerable may be the hardest habit of all, but it’s one that will definitely improve your relationship with your children, other loved ones, and most importantly, yourself. Whether your divorce was recent or has been finalized for quite some time, the emotional trauma from the process can easily cause you to develop a “stay strong” mentality. While there’s nothing wrong with staying strong for your kids, there are also many benefits to doing the exact opposite. Showing your children that you can relate to how they’re feeling in times of sadness or anger allows them to connect with you on a deeper level and better comprehend their own emotions. Here is a perfect example of how you single moms can put being vulnerable into practice:
The next time your child expresses frustration towards having to do virtual learning or being forced to stay inside, give them an example of a time you may have had to miss out on things in your childhood. Make sure to always lead with how these moments made you feel, and don’t leave out your reaction even if it was a negative one. Then, finish your story on a positive note by explaining how this moment helped you grow in a way you know your child will understand.
Vulnerability doesn’t mean you need to be open with your children every time you feel the urge to cry. It simply means getting on their level and relating to their feelings instead of brushing them aside. Getting into the habit of practicing vulnerability allows even the busiest of moms to stay in touch with their child’s emotions and their own emotions.
No matter what habits you start to incorporate into your day-to-day, recognize that trial and error is okay. Forming a new habit can be difficult, especially after going through a recent divorce. It can also be difficult to get into a new routine, particularly when you are in quarantine or dealing with the challenges COVID-19 has brought to your life. However, with the right discipline, it’s not impossible. The habits listed above are easy and involve minimal time commitment, so choose what works best for you and take it one day at a time.
Claire Evans is a freelance writer specializing in healthy habits/goal-oriented tips for readers going through all walks of life. When she’s not taking up a new quarantine hobby, she can be found diving into a new documentary or trying out a complex recipe in the kitchen.