For many single parents, winter is a "season of life" that lasts far longer than the three months you see on the calendar. If you could use a fresh start—a little spring cleaning for your soul—try introducing these baby steps on the road to personal renewal. Consider keeping a journal as you go, to help you take notice of how you feel as you make room in your life for what you need most.
6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Soul
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Pull back from the toxic people in your life.
When I think of springtime and renewal, I think of flowers. New life. Taking that first deep breath as you step outside on a warm morning ... Not the things that tear us down and get in our way. So take a good look around. What are the things—or people—in your life that bring a toxic element? You should be able to recognize them pretty quickly, because they consistently drain your energy and leave you feeling frustrated, "less than," or judged. Dealing with these people successfully will... require some intentional work, starting with being more careful about what you say yes to. For a full line-up of tips, read 5 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People in Your Life.
02 of 06
Let go of anger.
Think of anger as an element that causes the beautiful flowers of springtime to wither and die. It's just as corrosive to your soul, and you have to let it go. For help, read 8 Anger Management Tips for Single Parents.
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Let go of self-imposed guilt.
Are you carrying guilt over a divorce or broken relationship? Over not being able to give your kids all that they want, or all you'd like to share with them? Over the amount of time you're working just to make ends meet? You're not alone. And yet, that guilt is another corrosive element that you need to eliminate. For tips, read How to Let Go of Single Parent Guilt.
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Make room for "me time."
Charles Buxton said, "You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." Heed his advice and carve out time in your life for tending to your own needs. It requires an intentional effort (and some decent back-up child care options), but once you get a routine in place, you'll see that it's worth it—whether you're taking a class, going on a date, hanging out with friends, or just collecting your thoughts! For help finding the tip, read Help for Single... Parents With "No Time for Me."Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Start a spiritual practice.
There's something about spring that invites us to start fresh, as well. Why not begin anew with a spiritual practice such as prayer or meditation? Studies have shown that regular prayer or meditation can benefit your health, state of mind, and self-esteem. And you can do them anywhere, without spending a dime!
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Finally, springtime is also the perfect time to get our bodies moving. With the warmer days and additional daylight, try squeezing in a walk after dinner or playing with the kids outside. For help on how to get started, read Find Time to Exercise as a Single Parent.
Take a quick inventory of your needs right now. What do you need more of in your life, and what do you need to trim? Just increasing your awareness of how you feel at any given moment can help you tackle your biggest challenges with confidence. And, remember, the journey you're on is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't have to "get there" right now ... just recognize that you're making progress along the way.