Whether you’re a recently single mom or you’ve been in the game for a while, it’s important to care for your mental and emotional health in a variety of ways. Loneliness can be a part of parenthood whether you’re single or not, but living the single parent lifestyle can sometimes add an extra layer of stress to any equation. If you’ve been feeling a bit lonely recently, there are so many ways that you can manage those feelings and work towards feeling secure and seen by those around you as well as yourself. Here are just a few of the ways you can combat single parent loneliness.
1. Rely On Family
Although this isn’t an option for everyone — those with small families or families who live far away — relying on the family connections you have can be secure, fulfilling and exactly what you need. Whether you have a parent you can turn to, a sibling or even some cousins that you can talk to and spend some time with, you might feel a little bit of that loneliness alleviated from your shoulders.
2. Know You’re Not Alone
Although it is the nature of feeling lonely to get the sense that your experiences aren’t shared by anyone around you, it can be helpful to recognize that many parents feel this way, and that you aren’t alone. Sometimes, even if it doesn’t change anything immediately, it can be liberating to know that you aren’t the only one who feels the way you do, and that there are probably many parents who are searching for connection and friendship, too.
3. Find Community
The next step after recognizing that you aren’t alone is to go out and explore the potential connections that are all around you! It can be difficult to find community — especially during COVID — but searching for something that truly fulfills your need for connection is a basic human desire. And you deserve to have that in your life. There are so many ways that you can go out looking for community around you. Whether you look to other parents around you or you find activities that make you happy, community is an important aspect of connection.
4. Recognize That Life Goes Through Phases
One of the most important parts of working with your own feelings is recognizing that life goes through phases, and that even if you feel lonely right now, you definitely won’t feel that way forever. People often need time to themselves and life can get hectic based on important events, life progressions and even the time of year. Recognizing this as a phase rather than a stagnant part of life can help you get through it with a lot more momentum.
5. Nurture Individual Friendships
Sometimes, it can feel like the opposite of loneliness is having a lot of people around you. However, most people tend to find that having one or two friends that they truly value is much better than being surrounded by people that they don’t know quite as well. What a great way to combat loneliness is to nurture the individual relationships that bring value to your life. Friendship is about quantity, not quality.
6. Value Your Alone Time
When you feel lonely, it can seem like more alone time is the last thing you need in your life. However, it is important to recognize that your outlook on things can help you get through any situation. Many people would love a little more alone time, and it can help you to see things from a different perspective. Try to truly value the time that you get to spend with yourself. Practice self-care, make sure that you give yourself the rest you need and enjoy your own company!
7. Do What Makes You Comfortable
Sometimes, It can be tempting to put yourself in all kinds of situations when you feel lonely. Whether you find yourself at parties and gatherings you’d rather not attend or you make time for dates when you aren’t ready to be seeing anybody, make sure that you are still honoring your own boundaries and utilizing your time in ways that are valuable to you. When you do that, the right kinds of connections will find you.
Combating Loneliness As a Single Parent
Everybody deserves to find the connection and community that they need, especially single parents who are handling things all on their own. If you feel lonely, there are so many ways to help lift you up and get you through. Whether you rely on family, nurture your individual friendships or start valuing your alone time in a whole new way, you can get through anything.