Tips for Tackling Loneliness
I’m lonely. These two words are small and simple, yet for many of us are the hardest things to say, especially to ourselves.
For some reason it’s one of our society’s taboos, and with the use of social media now we can all fake happiness and contentment with a pretend smile and bright, flattering filter.
|Loneliness Can Be Beaten|
Parenting alone is tough in many ways, and one of the biggest for me is the sense of loneliness and isolation you can feel.
Within four weeks of being a parent the relationship with my ex broke down and I was a lone parent. Whilst I knew this meant potentially double the workload and responsibility, I didn’t realise it can also come with huge feelings of being alone.
Loneliness Can Occur For Anyone
Loneliness can come for many reasons as well as being a lone parent.
The older generation can be isolated, especially if they are becoming physically more frail and unable to get out and about like they used to.
Stay at home parents can feel alone whilst their partner is at work and they are running the house and looking after the children day in, day out.
|So Many People Hide Loneliness|
Children with busy parents, or emotionally unavailable parents can feel alone.
It’s common to assume people who are in relationships are anything but lonely, but this is unfortunately not always the case. In the past I’ve been in a relationship with somebody and felt incredibly lonely whilst being in it, because it wasn’t right for me and I was not getting the support and love to feel any different.
How I Fight Loneliness
During the eight years I’ve been a single parent I’ve tried and tested a variety of ways to tackle feeling lonely. Some have been great, others have just masked the feeling so here’s what I would recommend:
Social Media Can Be Your Friend
Social media can get a bad rep, but it does have some benefits. Parenting alone can be tough, especially in the evenings when your little one has gone to bed and you are alone in front of the television. This is lovely sometimes, but when it’s every night it can feel boring.
Even now I spend some time in the evenings going into Facebook groups for single parents and groups that are about things I enjoy so I can comment and natter with like-minded people.
Instagram has become one of my favourite things as the tags can cover so many things I love to learn about and feel inspired by. There’s a great community of lone parents and parents in general on both of these platforms and I’ve formed some lovely online friendships with many of them.
Get Out There and Date
This can be a scary one for most single parents for many reasons. Putting your toe back into the water after getting over whatever happened with your ex is a tough, but positive step.
It was a good three years before I was ready to get back into dating, and I even wrote about my feelings at the time for getting back into dating. Once I got back into the swing of things I actually enjoyed it. It felt good to get out there and even if the dates weren’t a success, I looked at those times as giving me the opportunity to ‘practise’ dating which helped to raise my confidence for the next time I found someone I wanted to date.
|Online Dating is a Gentle Toe Back into the Water|
These days it can be hard to find ways to naturally meet people, as parenting is busy and doesn’t always take you to places where you can meet single potential dates!
I found online dating gave me a gentle way into the dating scene, where I could spend evenings looking at people’s profiles from the comfort of my sofa whilst my son was in bed.
I had the chance to talk to them online to get a sense of whether we had a connection or anything in common so we could build up a rapport before having to then find a babysitter and organise an actual date.
I had very little confidence at that point, so online dating helped to boost that a lot before I even stepped out of my home and had an actual date.
There are some dating apps that are specifically for single parents and sites where you can date divorced singles. These more specific sites are great for people that want to connect with people in a similar boat to them.
If you are fresh back into dating I also have some tips for dating as a single parent that may be useful.
Get Back In Touch With You
Loneliness isn’t always down to being physically alone. It can be from not connecting with ourselves too. I spent years keeping busy as I didn’t want to take time to sit and reflect on how I was feeling.
Denying time to think about my feelings meant I never knew how I was feeling from moment to moment, to ensure I could get some me time when I was overwhelmed and could recognise when and how I could socialise to get that external interaction that our brains need.
So now I try to check in with myself whether it’s by using a journal, chatting to a therapist or having a ten minute mindfulness session. This is one of the most important things to do, but still tricky for me to maintain. It’s definitely worth it though.
Learn To Love Your Own Company
So many people don’t know how to do this, but it’s vital. We are social creatures, but being able to love spending time with yourself is also
|Ultimate Hygge Feeling with Me-Time|
Do something nice, like light a candle, have a bath, watch some
great television whilst eating something tasty. Listening to music or even just lazing about in your pyjamas can be heavenly. Try it, you are more fun than you realise!
Explore Interests / Try New Things
Put yourself out there by joining a local class or group that covers a topic you’re interested in. If there’s nothing out there that’s appealing, set something up yourself and promote it on local pages on Facebook!
I have avoided mud my entire life and then randomly decided to get an allotment in 2017 and had an amazing experience growing my own veg for two years there.
|I Loved My Allotment and Gained So Much Mentally|
Trying new things is a great way to meet people who have similar interests as you and exploring new things can boost our confidence, whilst helping us find more things in life to enjoy and give us more of a sense of contentment which can ease loneliness. Similarly when it comes to the dating as I mentioned above, I tried new things like speed dating, Safari dating and divorced dating and had a blast!
Socialise Whilst Parenting
Making friends is so important for both yourself and your child. It’s great for them to watch how we form friendships so they can learn to do the same, but it’s also great when they make a friend and you can then sit and have a cuppa with the parent of that child and form your own friendship.
Being able to talk about parenting, trashy television and the mundanities of life with a fellow parent can be just what you need. I particularly love meeting other single parents as they understand like nobody else can. That
connection in itself can really help ease loneliness so get to a local playgroup pronto!
Share Your Tips…
If you have any tips to add, please comment with them below. Despite my own tips, I still feel loneliness at times so being able to add other things to this list would be great.
This is a paid post in partnership with Digital Dudes Ltd. All content is written by me, and all opinions are honest and my own.