As a single parent I often have trouble motivating myself to step up. Not just for me, but for my kids. and then I feel guilty for not stepping up and the guilt turns to depression, wash, rinse, repeat.
Through experience I know that stepping up is less about talking and more about doing, but I'm curious to know what motivates others to actually get off their asses and, you know, step up. I'm at a place right now for whatever reasons I feel stuck. I could use some inspiration/ideas.
Good question! We all get stuck from time to time. Here are a few simple things that help me when I'm stuck:
-a good to-do list; it's pretty satisfying to even check one thing off the list, but you have to make the list first! In what areas would you like to step up? Write down five things you'd like to do for your kids and five things you'd like to do for yourself, and start by just doing one of them
-physical exercise, yoga or something aerobic, even just a walk, do a little something every day.
-get inspired by a friend -- some people are very active doers. I am more contemplative myself, but I can get inspiration to act from those who are "busier" than me.
-take those guilty sad feelings and write them down; I find that writing the feelings out can move them aside so you can "step up" more readily
-have you ever heard of a "mind map"? It's a pretty cool way to make a visual representation of some of the things you'd like to do. Instead of a traditional "to-do" list, it's a more right-brained way of envisioning places you'd like to go, goals you'd like to meet, experiences you'd like to have. You can google mind-maps if you're interested.
-reach out to a few good women friends and talk about your dreams together in a positive way. Sometimes we get used to talking about what isn't going well, but it can be very inspiring to talk with women about the things that are going right in their worlds. The support of female friends was invaluable to my own recovery from my husband's death.
-also, resist the urge to be down on yourself. Give yourself a lot of credit for surviving your spouse's death and for having to parent your children on your own. You've survived one of life's most difficult trials.
Hope some of these ideas are helpful!
I second everything Jill said. Just want to add, take a break. Make sure you have time for you, and take care of you. Be gentle with yourself. All you can do is your best.