The sacrifices single parents make every day are enormous. We take care of our children with very little time for ourselves. The key to creating time is creativity. One can be creative by accomplishing what one needs in the most simplified fashion. Or, think outside the box.
Exercise Releases Stress
I love to exercise for the sheer reason it releases stress. It makes me feel better about myself physically and mentally, ultimately providing me a sense of well-being and ideal health. Finding time to go to a gym, though, as a single parent to young children is challenging. You need a babysitter and the cost of a club membership.
Cry for Help
Over the eight years of being a single parent, a lot of my former lifestyle luxuries were slowly taken away from me, including my gym membership. I missed exercising at the gym which helped me unwind. My lack of a gym workout soon turned into me whining and complaining. Frustrated, I let out a Dear God Help Me prayer. It was the simplest of prayers: “God, you see what I am sacrificing here to care for my children, can you help me please?”
My Neighbor Enid
A week later, I received a phone call from Enid, my elderly neighbor. Enid lived alone a block away from our home. Her phone call was unusual as she rarely ever called us. My children and I took frequent walks in our neighborhood and would often see Enid in her front yard tending to her flower beds. She always greeted us with a big smile and after our visit, we often left carrying flowers or handful of candy.
Enid’s favorite pastime was to share with us her “trinket collection” from all of the Saturday garage sales she frequented. Ceramic figurines, the smaller the better, lined her shelves. The children were, of course, fascinated. Her best collection was in the basement shower. She had filled it, from floor to ceiling, with packages of toilet paper she had proudly bought on sale. We were never sure Enid would ever use that much toilet paper, but we were in awe of her accomplishment of finding a good sale on TP. Needless to say, Enid had an abundance of everything.
On this particular day she called, she said, “By chance, would you be interested in taking all of my exercise equipment? I no longer use it and I need to find a new home for all of it. Take whatever you like. I have a stationary bike, rowing machine, and a couple other pieces I am not really sure what they do. You can have it for free. All you need to do is come and get it.”
My need to exercise was answered in a very special, unplanned fashion. I never imagined it could have happened this way. Enid’s collected pieces of exercise equipment were now residing in our home. What was so amazing and mysterious about it was she never even knew about my cry for help. At last, I was able to exercise at no cost and no babysitters needed. So much to be grateful for in the midst of our challenging life.
“I was always filled with wonder when my requests were answered. Over the years, these small miracles kept appearing to propel us through.”~Wellness For The Single Parent
What are the health benefits of regular physical activity?
Learn more: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (see Table on page 32)