How this single mom uses her friends and family for self-care

PHOTO: Saiyda Shabazz is pictured with her son Jackson Shabazz-Zepp.PlaySa'iyda Shabazz
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Self-care is often thought of in terms of what a person can do for themselves, but the reality is it takes a village, so to speak, to make self-care happen.

Sa'iyda Shabazz is the single mom of a 5-year-old son who's learned to reach beyond herself for self-care. Here, she writes about how she relies on her community of friends and family to make self-care a part of her daily life.

There seems to be an idea that because it's called "self-care," that it must be done alone. But there is no rule that says self-care must be solitary.

Sometimes the best kind of self care is taking the time to cultivate the relationships you have with others.

Self-care for us is bigger than just going to get your nails done or getting a massage.

Giving yourself the care you need is rarely a solitary experience -- it's about filling your cup from several places. For many single moms, trying to carve out the space for self-care is a challenge.

PHOTO: Saiyda Shabazz is pictured with her son Jackson Shabazz-Zepp. Saiyda Shabazz
Sa'iyda Shabazz is pictured with her son Jackson Shabazz-Zepp.

Self-care for us is bigger than just going to get your nails done or getting a massage. Honestly, that kind of self-care is practically unattainable for a lot of single moms.

Many of us simply don't have the means to get away alone. Not everyone is lucky to have a co-parent or family or a babysitter that they can call when they want a few hours to themselves. Taking care of ourselves usually means connecting with those close to us.

For me, self-care is less about things like getting a manicure or all of the other things people associate with the concept. Not that those aren't valid and necessary forms of self-care.

More often than not, for me, self-care looks like me taking my kid to the playground and reading a book while he plays. Or getting to watch a movie or show I want to watch when he goes to sleep.

But even then, it gets lonely, and I'm left craving interactions with someone who isn't a 5-year-old.

"GMA" and Girls' Night In are keeping the self-care conversation going on Instagram @goodmorningamerica and @girlsnightinclub. Share your self-care tips and questions with the hashtag #SelfCareChallenge.

One of my best friends is also a single mom, and we are each other's greatest support system. Our kids are far apart in age, but they love spending time with each other.

PHOTO: Saiyda Shabazz, left, poses with a friend. Courtesy Saiyda Shabazz
Sa'iyda Shabazz, left, poses with a friend.

So for her and me, self-care looks like taking the kids out for lunch at a casual dining restaurant or spending a Sunday afternoon running errands together just to change things up a bit. Very often, our self-care looks like dinner at one of our houses.

It doesn't have to be something grandiose or extravagant.

We're getting the connection to another adult we need, but we don't have to make plans for our kids.

Self-care isn't a radical concept. And it doesn't have to be something grandiose or extravagant.

PHOTO: Saiyda Shabazz, far right, poses with her son and a friend. Courtesy Saiyda Shabazz
Sa'iyda Shabazz, far right, poses with her son and a friend.

You can find ways to take care of yourself that involve others. A dinner, or even a quick phone call with a good friend can bring you as much peace as a few hours alone.

When you're a single parent, so much of your time is spent "alone" that you crave connection with the people around you.

Finding ways to be around the people who fill your heart is just as restorative as a massage. And chances are, nurturing those relationships are going to sustain you even longer.

"GMA" and Girls' Night In are keeping the self-care conversation going on Instagram @goodmorningamerica and @girlsnightinclub. Share your self-care tips and questions with the hashtag #SelfCareChallenge.