There are times when each of us feels just plain angry about life. You might be thinking, "Why did this have to happen, and what am I supposed to do now?" One thing that's often overlooked is taking care of your own emotions. Here are some practical anger management strategies designed to help you process your feelings and start fresh:
1. Give Yourself Permission to Be Angry
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Chances are, if you're feeling angry, it's for a good reason! But sometimes we make it harder to process our anger because we don't recognize it. Are you angry? What about, specifically? This may feel odd, but try saying that out loud to yourself. "I'm angry because..." How does that feel to you?
2. Let Go of the ShameIt's okay to be angry about going it alone. That doesn't make you a bad parent! On the other hand, being angry and not recognizing it can hurt you and those you love. That anger is going to come out, one way or another. Naming it is the first step toward dealing with it in a healthy way.
3. Create a Space for Dealing with Your AngerLet's face it. As a single parent, you don't get a lot of time to yourself. Add to that the fact that you're probably trying to conceal some of your emotions around the kids, and holding it all in can take a heavy toll on you. Try to create space in your life for processing your feelings. Close your bedroom door and have a conversation in front of your mirror, or sit in the living room after the kids have gone to bed and listen to some music that you identify with.
4. Write it DownEven if you're not a person who typically enjoys journaling, you may find it extremely helpful to get the anger out of your heart and mind by putting it down on paper. Sometimes it's even helpful to write a letter you never plan to mail, telling the person at the center of your angry emotions how they've hurt you and why you're angry.
5. Confide in a FriendGet together with someone you trust and pour out your broken heart. It may be difficult to share some of the pain out loud, but think about this: If the roles were reversed, wouldn't you want to be there for your friend? Let someone in and share how you're feeling. Chances are, you'll feel a whole lot lighter.
6. Talk With Other Single Parents
We have a great online community here at About Single Parents. It's a safe place to share your feelings and gain some fresh ideas for moving forward. Come join in the conversation
7. Get MovingPhysical movement is a great way to deal with anger. Make time in your schedule for regular walks, whether that's putting the baby in a stroller first thing in the morning, or getting out of the office on your lunch hour. It's a perfect opportunity to be alone in your head, and the fresh air and exercise will provide added benefits.
8. Be Honest With Your KidsBeing honest about how you feel can be a huge relief! It's okay to acknowledge to your children that you are angry. In fact, they probably know this already. You'll want to keep in mind, though, that being honest does not mean telling them the details they don't need to know. You can simply say, "I'm feeling angry right now, but I'm working through it, and I know things are going to get better soon."