Being a single mother is a challenging experience. There are, of course, overwhelmingly positive aspects. You get to develop closer relationships with your children. Not to mention that overcoming hurdles can boost your confidence and empower you to explore new opportunities. Still, this isn’t to say any of it is necessarily easy.
One of the common areas many women find difficult is maintaining a sense of body positivity. Going through a divorce — even in amicable circumstances — can leave you feeling dejected. The changes your body has gone through during aging and childbirth might also have knocked your confidence. Nevertheless, it’s important for your ongoing physical and mental well-being that you adopt practices to boost your positive sense of self.
We’re going to explore a few ways single mothers can boost their body positivity.
Accept That Change Is Natural
As a single mother, it can feel as though there is a lot of pressure to be in control of all the things all of the time. As such, when you start to experience changes to your physical or mental health, it can be frustrating and upsetting. These are elements that can not just be beyond your control but also disrupt other areas of your life.
The simple fact is that women’s bodies go through several changes over the course of a lifetime. For instance, older women are at risk of developing varicose veins. In fact, by the age of 50, 41% of women will suffer from varicose veins. There are certain factors that can contribute to the likelihood of this condition. Pregnancy, birth control pills, and aging can play a role, yet these things are part of contemporary life for women. The important thing to remember is that such changes are a natural part of going through life and don’t represent a failure on your part.
It is, of course, easy to say changes aren’t something you shouldn’t feel self-conscious about. This doesn’t necessarily stop you from being concerned or frustrated by them. Still, acceptance that your body is going to change throughout your life can help to give you more pragmatic perspectives on your experience. You should remember, though, that acceptance of change doesn’t prevent you from also making adjustments to your life that boost your wellness.
Focus on Your Wellness
Body positivity isn’t the same as ignoring reality. You can still feel good about yourself while also being aware that there are things you can do to improve how you look and feel. Making small and manageable adjustments can have a significant impact on your self-esteem. Your best focus for these adjustments is on your wellness.
In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on how supplements and plastic surgery can help people look younger. This may be tempting, particularly if the pressure of raising a family on your own is starting to make you feel — and appear — tired and stressed. Nevertheless, there are relatively simple steps you can take to reduce the signs of aging without resorting to supplements. This can include adopting a skin routine that involves regular cleansing and moisturizing. Getting seven to eight hours of good quality sleep each night is also a key influencer here.
It’s true that being a single mother can see you with limited time at your disposal, but it’s important to prioritize exercise, too. You don’t necessarily have to visit a gym to make a difference. Walks and yoga can nurture your mind and body, especially if you are newly single. It could be as simple as taking 20 minutes for yoga each morning and 30 minutes of brisk walking around your neighborhood.
It’s difficult to maintain body positivity if you keep your thoughts entirely to yourself. An insular approach can send you into negative thought loops in which you can focus on and magnify parts of your appearance you consider to be negative. This isn’t healthy, and it’s certainly not conducive to your mental wellness. As such, it’s important to express yourself outwardly through open communication.
This can start with identifying a couple of close friends you can trust to talk about these issues. Advice from other single mothers can be particularly useful, as they’re likely to share some similar frustrations and challenges. Be open with each other about how you’re feeling and provide one another with support. This isn’t about giving one another inaccurate compliments about one another’s bodies and personalities. Inauthenticity does a disservice to everyone involved. Rather, be an active listening resource for each other and perhaps even work together to identify and implement any positive changes.
Another key area of open communication should be with your children. Obviously, you’re unlikely to use the same level of frankness as with your friends. However, it’s vital to understand that children’s concerns about their body image sets in at an early age. Having discussions about body positivity early on can help your kids develop resilience around their self-esteem. Indeed, it can help you both to create an atmosphere at home that supports positive mental and physical self-image.
As a single mother, body positivity can be challenging. Accepting that your body is changing is a good start, but remember you’re not entirely powerless to make changes. It’s worth committing to focus on maintaining wellness practices that impact your mental and physical health. Communicating openly on the subject with your support network and your children can also have great results for everyone involved. Yes, your appearance and parts of your life are changing, but you can take steps to ensure you have the most positive experiences.