One of the biggest challenges that I have struggled with as a single mom has been mental toughness. It’s no secret that taking care of children alone can be draining both physically and mentally. However, when you have to handle the responsibilities of being a mother while making sure that you are financially able to take care of your children, it’s easy for the pressures to mount.
If you are not mentally strong, you are more likely to struggle with depression, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. You may feel like you can’t handle the challenges that motherhood throws at you. Or you are not strong enough to continue going when things get hard.
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- 1 What is Mental Toughness?
- 2 Strategies to Develop Mental Toughness As A Single Mom
- 2.0.1 1. Develop A Positive Mindset
- 2.0.2 2. Don’t Try To Do It Alone
- 2.0.3 3. Focus Only On What You Can Control
- 2.0.4 4. Let Go Of Limiting Beliefs
- 2.0.5 5. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
- 2.0.6 6. Realize That Hardships Are Only Temporary
- 2.0.7 7. Allow Yourself To Feel The Feelings
- 2.0.8 8. Make Self-Care A Priority In Your Life
- 2.0.9 9. Put Systems In Place To Help You
- 2.0.10 10. Change How You Think And Talk To Yourself
- 3 In Conclusion
What is Mental Toughness?
Mental toughness is the ability to persevere through challenges and hardships without losing hope. It’s the ability to keep going when you encounter obstacles.
It’s really important for parents, single parents especially, to develop mental toughness because the challenges of parenting alone can be so overwhelming and mentally taxing.
Developing skills that will help you handle the stressors in your life will help you continue to be the great parent that you know you can be. Mental fortitude helps you persevere through the many challenges that you face. It also helps you keep going when the going gets tough.
Mentally strong moms can keep going when they’ve had a tough day. They keep going when they have to work multiple jobs to care for their children while their ex refuses to do his part. They get up every day and look for the light in a situation that seems so dark.
The bible is very clear that the battles we face are not physical, but spiritual. It also states that those battles are the battles of the mind. Meaning that if we are to win in our parenting, we have to wrestle with our mind.
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Strategies to Develop Mental Toughness As A Single Mom
Here are some practical strategies you can implement to ensure that you are building your mental fortitude.
1. Develop A Positive Mindset
The way that we think about ourselves and our circumstances will affect our mental toughness. When we focus on good, uplifting thoughts, we are more likely to develop a positive outlook about our situation. However, when we choose to focus on negative thoughts, our situation seems gloomy and hopeless.
Learn to look at your situation in a positive light. I know it’s hard being a single mom. Most days you may feel like there is no hope in sight but there is. This is just a phase, it is not your whole life. Choose to learn from the situation and become better instead of becoming bitter.
So what you ex refuses to support you? So what he doesn’t want to see the children? So what he insults you or spreads lies about you? What can you learn from this? How can you be better so you can give your children what they need?
Stop focusing on the bad that has happened and start imagining the good. Start focusing on the positive. Instead of worrying about what your ex doesn’t do, fix your mind on what you can do; what you have control over.
2. Don’t Try To Do It Alone
God gives us the strength to overcome the obstacles that we face in our lives. When we try to do things without him, the result is usually frustrating because we lack the strength to do things alone.
Having faith in God and trusting him doesn’t mean that we won’t have hardships. It doesn’t mean that things won’t be hard sometimes. It just means that we have someone we can count on. Someone we can lean on during those hard times.
So instead of spending time worrying about bills or other problems you may have, focus your eyes on God. Let him give you peace over your situation. Allow him to give you the strength you need to keep going.
3. Focus Only On What You Can Control
When we try to control other things that are out of our control it causes more stress than we need. This is one of the areas that caused me a lot of stress. I was so concerned about co-parenting with my ex. I was always worried about how I would function when my kids are away or if they would be alright.
I learned that I needed to let go of that control and believe that my children were in the best hands. Eventhough I didn’t trust my ex, I realized that focusing on that aspect of things was only causing me stress and unnecessary worries that I didn’t need to be consumed with.
Developing mental toughness requires you to let go of things you cannot control and only focus on the things you have control of. Coparenting is an area that may cause you a lot of stress and discouragement, which it has for me, but that only happens when you let it.
4. Let Go Of Limiting Beliefs
What are some beliefs you have that are holding you back? What are some things you have convinced yourself of that you need to let go to be better?
Do you believe that because you are a single mom you can’t accomplish anything? Do you believe that you will always be dependent on the government or on others because you are a single mom? Do you believe that because you are a single mom you can’t amount to anything? You can’t get more education, start a business, or get a better job?
These beliefs are limiting you from living your best life. Developing mental toughness requires you to let go of any limiting beliefs you have allowed to permeate in your mind. Those beliefs are holding you back from the best version of yourself.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
Understand that the people who you interact with affect how you think. So make sure that you surround yourself with people who add value to your life and motivate you to be the best you possible. Invest in great books that inspire you and challenge you to be better.
Stay away from people that only focus on the negative. Stay away from people who only want to gossip and spend time talking about how bad your situation is. Get close to those who help you see the good. Those who provide a listening ear and positive advice when you need it.
These positive influences will help you develop a stronger mindset and help you see your situation in a positive light. They will also be the ones to encourage you when you feel down or you feel like you can’t do it anymore.
6. Realize That Hardships Are Only Temporary
You are not your current situation. You are not what you did in the past. You are not the mistakes you are going to make. This situation is not you. This situation doesn’t define you. Being a single mom doesn’t mean the end of the world for you.
Once you realize that your situation is temporary, it gives you a different perspective. The storm doesn’t always last. The hardships won’t always last. It may be hard right now but better is coming. Hold on to that notion and let that keep you going.
7. Allow Yourself To Feel The Feelings
Listen, having mental toughness doesn’t mean that you won’t feel down sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you won’t struggle with different emotions. Instead, it means that you won’t stay there when those feelings arise.
I have days when I just have to allow myself to cry because it’s too much. I allow myself to feel the feelings because I realize, and have come to accept, that those feelings don’t make me weak. Feeling sad, overwhelmed, or emotional doesn’t mean I’m not strong. It means that I am human.
So when you have those days when you feel down or you feel so overwhelmed that you can’t go on, remember who you are, feel the feelings, but don’t stay there. You are strong and courageous. You are mentally strong and capable to overcome any challenges you face.
8. Make Self-Care A Priority In Your Life
Make sure you take the time to replenish. It’s hard to be mentally strong when you don’t get enough rest, nutrients, or don’t care for yourself. Mental toughness requires you to make yourself a priority so you can be all that your children need you to be.
Find ways to incorporate self-care in your life. Take up a new hobby, read a book, listen to music or motivational speeches. Make sure that you don’t neglect yourself because if you do, you’ll be less likely to fight against negative thoughts.
You are more likely to handle tough situations when you are well taken care of so make sure self-care is a priority.
9. Put Systems In Place To Help You
Mental toughness isn’t about being motivated. It’s about having systems and habits in place that help you to continue to be strong when you need to be.
If you haven’t already, develop habits and routines that help you maintain your sanity. Whether it be morning and evening routines that allow you to take care of your responsibilities, minimizing your stress levels or it may be a self-care routine that allows you to prioritize your mental health. These habits and routines help you develop mental toughness.
So what habits do you need to change and develop so you can continue to persevere through the hardships you encounter?
10. Change How You Think And Talk To Yourself
The way we think about ourselves impacts our mental toughness. We can’t be mentally strong when we doubt our abilities or allow worry to fester in our minds.
Mental toughness requires you to examine the thoughts you allow to stay in your mind. If those thoughts aren’t “noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable” (Phillipians 4:8) they don’t need a place in your mind.
Take captive every thought and make sure it is a good thought. Depression and sadness sometimes arise from the negative thoughts we have so if we change our thoughts we are less likely to have feelings of sadness or inadequacy.
Use positive affirmations to remind yourself of who you are and what you are capable of. Recite God’s word so you know what He says about you especially during those moments when you feel like you can’t go on.
If you want to develop mental toughness as a single parent, you need to make sure that your thoughts align with your beliefs about yourself. In the same way, if your beliefs about yourself are negative, you have to change those beliefs so you can develop a strong mind that will be able to overcome the challenges you face.
Remember that everything comes from the mind so we have to protect what influences our mind so we can be influenced by the right things.
How are you developing mental toughness in your life? Let me know in the comments.
Let’s continue this friendship we’ve started…
I am creating a community of single parents who are dedicated to winning despite the situation they are in and would love for you to join in!
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