Loneliness is often unavoidable when you’re a single mother like me. When the children are at school, in bed, or with family and friends, it can feel incredibly isolating. I’m very lucky to have a fantastic group of friends and a wonderful family, but night times can be hard. Watching a film alone gets a little tedious after a while and the cat doesn’t really appreciate my bad jokes and in-depth conversation…
Today I thought I’d share some of the tactics I use to overcome feeling lonely. I can’t promise that these methods will work for you, but I hope that it at least inspires anyone reading this who is struggling with loneliness.
- I am very lucky to have a wonderful support network. They provide respite when required, and they are always at the end of the phone for a chat. Whether you have a large group of friends, or just one or two, utilise them. Thanks to amazing technology we can now communicate in seconds using voice calls, video calls and messaging. Communication with friends and family has been hugely beneficial for me – I spend at least an hour on the phone to my best friend most evenings and I don’t know what I’d do without our daily debrief.
- Find a hobby that fits around your lifestyle. If you have family or friends nearby you could join a group or club whilst someone trusted stays at home with the children. It’s important to keep your mind occupied instead of allowing the feeling of loneliness to overwhelm you. Blogging began as a hobby for me. It kept me going during some truly dark times, it has since become a career. Who knows, maybe your hobby could become something amazing.
- Loneliness can be a catalyst for intrusive thoughts – try to be aware of your thoughts and stop any negative thinking by indulging in a little self-care.
- Make new connections – social media is amazing for reaching out to new people. Some parenting/motherhood Facebook groups have 50,000+ active members. All of which are ready to support you from afar if you reach out.
- When we exercise our body produces chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, providing us with a more energised outlook on life. Therefore exercise is fantastic for easing negative thoughts and perceptions and is a great hobby too!
Overcoming loneliness doesn’t happen over night. It takes perseverance and patience. Make sure you take things slowly and don’t push yourself into situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Check out this article from Mind about coping with loneliness.