If we’d be totally honest, every one of us would say that during the pandemic we’ve ALL faced some kind of mental health challenges. I used to think that mental health issues were reserved for those who had serious psychological difficulties. And although that may be true for some, every one of us has struggled to some degree during COVID-19 to keep our minds focused on positive mental health practices. I know I have.
I did a little research and discovered that according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) News report, mental health decline during COVID was most reported by females and unmarried parents.* This doesn’t surprise me one bit. After all, they carry heavy loads for their families.
Yet the good news is moms can take daily steps to diminish mental anxiety. We can’t fix a lot of problems, but we can make intentional choices to enhance our emotional wellness. Are you ready to examine your own mental weaknesses and do something about them? Would any of these twelve suggestions appear on your “Steps to a Healthier Me” list?
1. Feeling overwhelmed? Shift your load. Absorb a promise in God’s Word that calms your nerves. Dwell on it. Put it on your desk, mirror, steering wheel.
2. Feeling like you’re not enough? Accept the reality that you’re desperate for the partnership of God to fill the gaps and exercise his role as your husband. Say to yourself, “We can do this!”
3. Feeling deprived? Author Katie Reed encourages, “Self-care is giving the world the best of you, not the rest of you.” Put your own needs on your to-do list.
4. Feeling anxious? God wants alone time with you to soothe your restless heart with his promises to carry you through. Turn off devices that rob your space of solitude.
5. Feeling self-absorbed with motherhood duties? Switch gears and bless someone else besides your children. Refreshing others refreshes you. Text or call someone with kind words.
6. Feeling in a rut? Change your routine. You are worthy of the pleasure of being with you. Enjoying yourself is a stress reliever. Work your strengths.
7. Feeling deprived? Try some dark chocolate. The flavonoids improve alertness and mental skills. Boost your brainpower. (Hooray! Permission to eat candy!)
8. Feeling at the end of your rope? God sees where you are and will not abandon you. Get help now. Call a friend, your church, or go online for services that might assist.
9. Feeling afraid to pursue a dream? Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
10. Feeling run down? Research shows that being in nature increases energy levels. Take your lunch break in the park or ask a neighbor to watch your kids for thirty minutes so you spend some time outdoors.
11. Feeling like a prisoner to someone who has hurt you? For the long-term wellness of your children and yourself, choose to forgive. Ask for help to work through this course of release.
12. Feeling brave? Make room for adventure. No matter where you are on this journey of being a single mom, God sees you and he loves you like none other. Trust him to work all the pieces of your life for good, and he will.
Friend, obtaining good mental health is not a destination but a process. It’s how you navigate it on a daily basis that makes all the difference.
*AAP News article: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/07/24/pandemicsurvey072420
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.