Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.
Life can throw us some unbelievable twists and turns, can’t it? I have never sat with a group of women over coffee who said, “Life has turned out exactly how I expected it to!” We are thrown curveballs, left and right, that we are often unprepared for, including unspeakable hurts and disappointments. Whether it be a painful divorce, the death of a loved one, abuse, addiction, enduring an unfavorable health report, betrayal, or a number of other things, finding healing from hurts can be a long, lonely road.
Of course there is a spiritual journey to finding healing and prayer, Bible reading, godly council, and church attendance are all part of that. But I wanted to give some practical things that can be used to find healing from hurt, disappointment, offense, or abuse.
Read a good book. This is a simple task. Yet, book reading is a dying art that we don’t take the time to do anymore. Avoid the television and over-saturation of social media. Instead, use your down time to dive into a good book. It’s calming, relaxing, and a way to improve things about your life. The experience of holding a book and embracing a few moments alone can be life-changing.
Turn your cell phone off for one hour each day. Yes, I do mean completely off. Unplug from everything. We must be able to embrace the quiet and still and calm. We have become a culture of too busy, too quick, too impatient. And unfortunately, the modern conveniences of a cell phone can be bridled with text messages, emails, missed calls, and distractions that only further overwhelm you and prohibit you from focusing on self-care.
Start a blog, vlog, or personal journal. Sharing your personal journey, if only with yourself, is quite therapeutic. It also allows you the great gift of reviewing your life over the course of weeks, months, and years. It allows you to become thankful what you have, where you’ve been, and what you’ve learned.
Seek counseling. All of us need a professional from time to time. This can be done through a licensed counselor or through a life coach or seasoned lay counselor at your local church or community center. Sometimes, simply sharing the journey and getting advice is just what you need to spark your journey to healing.
Have a one-hour meeting with a friend each week. Simply go for coffee and a girl chat. You don’t have to focus on your problems or solutions or even the past. Simply sit and enjoy some girl time. Focus on how they are doing, what their hopes and dreams are, etc. It gives you a brief time to not focus on your own problems. Plus, we are all better together.
Leave your house regularly. Again, this seems like a simple one, but when we are going through a trauma or overcoming an obstacle, we tend to want to retreat and isolate. Do not allow yourself to do so! Moms, we must get out of the house, especially new moms. Find a group to belong to. Research playdates possibilities in your area. Do something that forces you to get up, get dressed, and mingle with other adults.
Write a daily affirmation. Each day, find one thing about yourself that you like, are proud of, etc. When you are down, go back and read your affirmations.
Serve someone else. Who are you serving? Volunteerism is a way to see others’ problems. It can be a friend, sister, or total stranger. Serve someone. This is a great practice to show your children, even from an early age. Giving to others is a great way to enhance our community and increase our own sense of well-being.
Jennifer Maggio is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries (TLSM). TLSM is a national organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that focuses on seeing no single mom walk alone. The organization serves more than 71,000 single mothers annually from around the United States through their support group network, outreach event, educational classes, online communities, and more. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.