The COVID-19 has intensely redefined the meaning of a work-life balance. Many are suffering from financial instability, families are worried about their loved ones who are frontlines, and students are restless over online classes. Fear is magnified in every aspect of life because of the uncertainty of what the future may hold. One of the most vulnerable groups in this crisis is single moms.
From performing domestic labor, such as cooking and scheduling window installation services to ensuring children are supported with basic needs, single moms bear all the financial and emotional responsibilities of keeping the household running. With face-to-face learning suspended, they keep an eye on their children’s online schedule for school. Fulfilling all duties every day and night can be overwhelming. The feelings of guilt and anxiety accumulate whenever they leave their children for work. To mitigate this exhaustion, here are three coping mechanisms that single moms can practice.
Acknowledge and accept the situation
As imprudent as it may sound, acknowledging the situation is one step forward. Single moms can better carry out their tasks upon accepting that these times are more challenging for them. But acknowledgment should come with acceptance. Clinical psychologist Rachel Busman recommends employing radical acceptance, which is a mindfulness concept that emphasizes on accepting the current situation rather than fighting it. That also means understanding that mixed feelings are valid and that not all days with the kids will be bright. For them to keep these in mind, single moms’ energy will be redirected towards what can be controlled.
Take breathing exercises
With no partners around, the environment of single moms is more stressful. Whether working from home or being part of a skeletal workforce, worrying about their children and their health and safety is normal. But it can get unhealthy when they become too distracted. Taking breathing exercises can substantially alter mood because, according to Michigan Medicine, it sends a message to the brain to calm down and relax. The university further provided different breathing exercises at different levels. Single moms can integrate these breathing exercises into their daily lives to heighten their focus.
Connect with other single moms
Coping alone can only do so much. Like everyone else, single moms need social connections as well. According to research, 90% of single parents in the United Kingdom alone are women. Women are one of the many sectors in society that is susceptible to being jeopardized because they are not well-protected. Given this, they need every possible support. They need a community that understands and empathizes with their situation. A single mom can reach out to other single moms to empower each other and offer advice. Single moms can schedule video calls and have virtual meals together just to unwind for a while.
Single moms are the unsung heroes in these times. Assuming the role of a father is already a heavy responsibility, to begin with. Now living under a pandemic, they are faced with even more challenging and immense responsibilities, especially with taking care of their children. Establishing coping mechanisms is the best way to help overcome their struggles.