1. Don’t neglect your social wellness

Your social relationships are incredibly important. Having a social network offers a support system and can impact your mental wellness. This in turn can help lengthen your life. The National Institutes of Health’s Social Wellness Checklist provides tips for connecting with others while also taking care of yourself. You could try joining a local community group or taking a class to learn something new and meet people with shared interests. If you’re a parent, heading to your local playground at the same time weekly can help form relationship with friends on the same schedule as you.

2. Eat well and exercise

This seems like a no brainer, but if you’re not physically healthy, everything else becomes more difficult. A third of single parents would only be able to cover an unexpected emergency medical bill of up to $1,000, so maintaining your body is the first line of defense. Support your physical health by taking the time to eat well-balanced meals, stay physically active, and maintain your regular health care visits. Using a fitness tracker or smartphone app can help motivate you to sneak a quick workout in, even when you’re busy. Look up a baby and me yoga class on YouTube, choose to walk somewhere instead of driving if you can. When you’re a caregiver, it’s hard to cook for yourself. Leveraging meal-style grocery delivery services that provide healthy food and recipes can make meal planning and prepping easier. And if you’re cooking for the person you’re caring for, cook healthy, and cook extra for yourself.

3. Take time for yourself each day

It only takes a few minutes to practice self-care each day. Set aside up to 20 minutes to relax or recharge by doing something that you enjoy. Consider meditating, going for a walk, or listening to music or reading. Waking up ten minutes earlier sounds like a big ask, but the rewards can pay off!  

It’s very important to ask for help when you need it. Who do you have in your life who could pitch in when you need a break? Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to provide child or elder care for a short period. If it’s within your budget, hiring a babysitter or caregiver can give you more time to focus on yourself.

4. Build your well-being with community

It’s tough going it alone. Recruiting family, friends, colleagues, and your community to join you in building healthy habits like exercising, taking breaks, and eating well can help keep you motivated and give you a stronger sense of purpose. You can connect with neighbors, coworkers, or other members of your community to support health-focused activities and share resources. Find out if your workplace offers an employee resource group (ERG) for caregivers, or team up with people or groups in your community to build a network of support.

Group activities can promote healthy eating or physical activity. Weekly cooking classes or an after-work yoga group can provide social connections and support wellness at the same time.

5. Focus on your financial fitness

Financial problems can be particularly stressful for caregivers. On average, caregivers spend more than a quarter of their annual income on expenses related to caregiving.4 Considering that only 21% of caregivers of children say that they have good financial health, making your financial fitness a priority will help lower your stress and give you a sense of empowerment.5

Take tangible steps today to gain more control over your finances. If you don’t already have a household budget in place, now is a great time to create one. Living within your means helps you feel more confident and allows you to find opportunities to build your savings.

Next, put your savings on autopilot by putting a portion of the money you earn into a savings account as soon as you earn it. You can set up automatic transfers between your checking and savings accounts to make this even easier, so you don’t have to think about it each month. Automating your savings will help allow you to build a solid foundation for a comfortable financial future.

Remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Seeking out the help of a financial professional will give you the support you need to make positive changes without creating additional stress.

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