Single Mom Depression: How to Decompress Through Writing

It goes without saying how difficult it is for a single mom to decompress. On the list of things to do, taking care of yourself is at the very bottom. The number one piece of advice people might have to share with you is to take care of yourself, because, after all, what good are you to your children if you’ve fallen apart?

There are lots of classic suggestions for taking care of yourself, like taking a warm bubble bath or reading a few chapters of a good book. Anything that can take your mind off of your responsibilities is good. You need to relax and do something you enjoy. But oftentimes the things we choose to do for ourselves provide nothing more than temporary gratification. Single moms especially need to do something truly self-fulfilling. Journaling is one of the best things a single mom can do for herself.

Journaling is healthy for anyone. It can be particularly beneficial for single moms. Here are just some of the benefits of journaling for single moms:

Expression
You can express your feelings and ideas without censorship or judgment.

Validation
You can identify and validate your feelings by putting them in writing.

Resolution
By identifying your emotions, you can process them, which can help you find solutions.

Escape
You can step outside of your everyday responsibilities and go wherever you want.

If you want to start journaling, you don’t need to be a great writer, have any inspiration, or even have a lot of time. Anyone can do it. It is a very realistic activity for a single mom to try – all you need is the desire. You don’t have to put in a great deal of commitment, but the more often you do it, the more beneficial it will be. Here is how you can get started:

Just Write
No amazing ideas are needed to begin journaling. Write whatever you want – anything. You could start by writing what you are feeling that moment. You could write what you did so far all day or what you plan to do next. Writing will lead to more writing.

Be Consistent
Try to do it at least ten minutes a day, but of course that won’t always be possible. Skip days if you need to, but try not to go more than two or three days without writing a little.

Be Honest
Try to write whatever you are feeling without worrying that one day your kids might read it. Hide it in a place they’d never find it if you feel you need to. Writing is a great way to let go of feelings. If you are honest about how stressed out you are, odds are you won’t be quite that stressed anymore after putting it on paper.

Dream
One of the best ways to use your journal is to rediscover your passions and dreams. Write about what you’d do if you had all the money in the world and no responsibilities, or even just if you didn’t have kids. Reconnect with who you really are as a person other than a mom. Look online for writing prompts to help you with ideas, like questions of “what if” that will really help you open your imagination.

When you start journaling, hopefully you will find it to be a truly rewarding experience that helps you connect with yourself and unload your burdens. If an open journal still seems like too much, try keeping a themed journal. Everyday write down one or two or more specific things you are grateful for. Or every morning describe the dreams you had at night. Any type of self expression will be beneficial to the single mom who rarely gets the opportunity.

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