Stress reducers for single parents? That sounds great considering the many stress related symptoms some Christian single parents live with daily. Let’s see, there’s financial stress, job stress, dating stress, single parenting stress, custody and child support stress. Ugh! I’m getting stressed out and anxious just thinking about it all!
As single Christian parents, it is important to know how to reduce or relieve stress in your life. The following stress reducers may help give you some relief.
7 Top Stress Reducers for Single Parents
Stress Reducer #1: Surrender Your Life to Jesus
It’s really true. When we place our trust in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, He promises to forgive us all our sins and take our burdens and stress. How can you beat that?
As Christians we sometimes forget that God is really real, and He wants to meet us in our need. So go ahead, lay your stressful single parent issues on Jesus (1Peter 5:7) and leave them with Him. He can handle it.
Stress Reducer #2: Take Charge of Finances
I feel like a hypocrite talking about this stress item, but it’s really important. Most single parent households are stressfully living in debt and beyond their financial means.
Fortunately, their are many Christian ministries that can help relieve stress in this area of your life. For example, I found a neat stress reducer in Crown Financial Ministries (Crown.org). This ministry offers tons of free advice and articles on how to save money, get out of debt and manage your budget. The ministry also has a radio broadcast you can access through the web. Check it out, and reduce your agida and stress simultaneously.
Stress Reducer #3: Get a Support Sysytem
We all need each other because God created us for fellowship. This is especially true if you are a single parent carrying around a bunch of stress. Christian singles groups offer many benefits for single parents. Other helpful groups include Divorce Care (divorcecare.com), a free international Chrisitan support group for divorced singles with kids.
Another simple way to reduce stress is to create your own network of friends, neighbors and relatives to help give you a break from time to time. I know of a group of several single parents who have teamed up to rotate child care and shopping responsibilities for each other. This plan is relieving stress for all parties.
Stress Reducer #4: Create a Daily Routine
In line with what we teach in parent education classes, having a daily routine is a great stress reducer for you and the kids. This is especially true for the children if you have recently gone through a stressful situation like a death of a loved one, divorce or even a move to a new town. Daily routines put normalcy and safety into stressful lives.
Stress Reducer #5: Be Consistent with Parental Discipline
Kids need to know the rules and boundaries of the household. They also need to know that their parents will uphold the rules. Children living in single parent homes with no clear or consistent rules are often stressed out, maladjusted and rebellious.
Stress Reducer #6: Live and Let Live with the Other Parent
Many times single parents have ongoing disagreements with the other parent over custody, visitation or child support calculations. As a person who has worked in Family Court for over two decades, I know this is a major cause of stress in a single personâ€™s life. However, you can reduce your stress in this area by coming to a mediated custody/support agreement with the other parent. When the parents are united on custody related issues, the kids also suffer less stress related ailments.
Having a successful mediation means you can avoid court, additional legal fees and keep your kids from getting into the middle of a stress mess. Doesnâ€™t that make you feel less stressed already? Well, hereâ€™s one other bit of good news: Most Family Courts offer some form of free mediation to their clients. Before spending wasted money on an attorney, contact your local jurisdiction to see what the options are.
Stress Reducer #7: Take Care of Yourself
You do your children no good if you are stressing, and having no joy in your life. So pencil in some free time (don’t laugh) for yourself to enjoy some activities you like. If that includes dating, make sure you understand the issues of single parent dating with kids in order to avoid additional stress.
In addition, we all know that eating right and exercise can greatly reduce stress and release anxiety-killing endorphins into your bloodstream.
Overall, we have just touched the tip of stress reducing ideas for single parents. If you have any other stress reducer tips, please help other singles lessen their stress by making a comment.