The last few months, I’ve been curiously observing how people are navigating their new realities due to the Coronavirus. Being a single mom during the best of times is difficult. Being a single mom surviving the Coronavirus can feel nearly impossible.
As a single mom with my own small business, I find myself oscillating between a place of gripping fear and amazing gratitude. Sometimes this shift happens in a week’s time, and sometimes it happens within a day. What I’ve learned about myself through my own coach (thank you, Kathy) is that when I feel most vulnerable, I easily turn to a place of fear. My friend, anxiety, has always been along for the ride.
Living in these unprecedented times as a single mama can be frightening, especially from a financial perspective. Hearing on the news about the financial forecast and knowing millions of people are losing their jobs is terrifying. It’s no wonder why I’ve started binge-watching the show “Hoarders” on Netflix. The sense of wanting to hold on tight to what you’ve got and not share like a spoiled toddler is real. Well, it’s real for me. And I kind of hate it.
My values of abundance, gratitude, and love over fear are ones I try to lead my life by. But being a single mom surviving the Coronavirus, it’s a constant battle with my worst-case-scenario fears and sometimes the war on my anxiety feels never-ending.
So, how can you effectively deal with your fears and anxiety during these times? Here are some tips that have helped me:
- Now is the time to ask for emotional support. Asking for help may be difficult for you, but you’ll find good friends and supportive family want to listen and lend support. Plus, you’ll most likely find that you can return the favor – most people need a little extra support right now and are lonelier than ever.
- Check your insurance coverage for mental health benefits. Many therapists are turning to telehealth to service their clients making it easy for single parents to do sessions from their living room. If you are feeling extremely anxious (or depressed) find a good therapist now before you feel worse.
- Talk to a financial planner and get a realistic view of your finances, if you haven’t already. Knowing the facts can help you from completely panicking. Get a good idea of how much money you’d need on a monthly basis for living expenses if you lose your job and plan accordingly. See where you can cut bills or other expenses.
- If you need to stay at home with your child(ren), check to see if you can use sick time or family medical leave. If you’ve lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment. Even self-employed people may be eligible for some benefits. See what’s available to you by going to your state government’s website.
- Give yourself lots of grace. Being a single parent is freaking hard. Being a single parent during the Coronavirus feels nearly impossible. Get rid of the expectations in your head around about being supermom right now and check your guilt. You are going to mess up. You are going to be afraid.
- Let go, be grateful and try like hell to stay positive. When I’m most afraid, I remind myself that the opposite of acting in fear is acting in love and trusting myself. It’s easy for me to focus on all of the worst-case scenarios that have me ending up living on the streets. I’m not talking about rose-colored glasses or unrealistic positivity. For me, it’s a reminder to myself about what I do have, what’s inherent in me that can’t be taken away, and resiliency. It’s also a reminder that white-knuckling it through life is a miserable way to live.
Wherever you find yourself on your divorce journey, I wish you the best during these challenging times. As always, if working with me might bring you some peace of mind or if you find yourself stuck, please contact me. I’d love to be a part of your healing.