Speaking from experience as a single mummy who has experienced depression, anxiety and PND; I wanted to reach out to those in the same position as me. Regardless of wether it’s World Mental Health Day or not, this post is for anyone that just needs a little reminder that it’s bloody tough being on your own and you are amazing.
There is no one there to notice your moods, no one there to lift you up after a tough day, no one there to even notice if you had gone. It’s a lonely place.
Once the kids are asleep and it’s just you and the four walls again, there is no one there to catch you from falling into the darkness.
As a single parent, it’s even more important to look after ourselves. We are our own guardians, we don’t have a partner to see our tears or to hear our cry. No one is there to notice how we are coping on a daily basis.
Through experience, I know that I have triggers that spark off my mental health. Lack of sleep being one of them and sometimes and in the past I simply had no idea where it came from. I have walked over hot coals, read lots of self-help books, practiced various habits and changed my lifestyle to limit the chances of having any episodes. It’s not full proof but it’s a start.
Having a trustworthy person you can alert when you are feeling like you are slipping is like having a life line. I am really lucky to have my mum on the other end of a phone or text. But it could be anyone personal to you that you can trust. A close friend or close relative is a good starting point.
5 Things You Can Say
Admitting you need help is one of the hardest things to over come when you feel the way you do. But there are some subtle ways to warn your close friend or relative that you need some help without actually asking for it. Here are some examples of things you could say.
I’m not feeling great today.
I could do with a hug right now.
Today is not a good day for me.
I just want to sleep forever.
Feeling lonely today.
I’m not suggesting you can’t say these things at any other time, but if you let your relative or friend know these are warning signs, then they will no doubt help.
What to do when you really can’t turn to anyone? I know that feeling too. You don’t want to burden others, you don’t want to admit there is an issue. But you know there is something wrong. Then there are several places you can call and a great place to start would be the Smaritans T: 116 123 (UK) 116 123 (ROI)
Please also visit these amazing charities doing incredible things to support mental health.
5 Things You Can Avoid
Positive lifestyle changes will massively help your mental wellbeing. We look after our bodies when we are sick, yet the brain which functions everything, is put under incredible amounts of pressure yet we continue to abuse it.
Drinking alcohol or taking drugs – Anxiety trigger and a depressant.
Eating unhealthy foods – makes you feel sluggish and heavy.
Coffee – anxiety trigger.
Reading or watching the news – sparks negative and helpless thoughts.
Social Media – limit time on social media as channels are full of triggers. Taking small breaks is healthy for your mind.
5 Things You Can Do
As much as we might want to be released from the chains of hell, we do have to help ourselves and make positive changes.
Practice self-care until it becomes a habit – check out my self-care list including some wonderful feel good movies to watch.
Reach out to others in the same position.
Practice gratitude no matter how small it may be
Visit happy places – take yourself off to places you know will make you feel happy.
Regardless of being a single parent, parent for that matter or not; these tips will hopefully help in some way and if you know someone who has a mental health issue that can’t read or knows anything about these kind of methods, then print this off and see how you can help change their life for the better.
Light and love.