Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re on an island by yourself? Like no one really understands you or your motherhood woes? Motherhood can feel very lonely and isolating at times. Know that you’re not actually on an island all alone, as there are many moms in the world feeling the same way you are right now.
So, what can we do about heightened levels of loneliness and disconnection in our lives today? First, try to figure out what triggers these feelings of isolation in your own life. Your list may include:
- The (ongoing) global pandemic
- Feeling emotionally disconnected from friends and neighbors.
- It may be part of an mental health issue you’re experiencing like depression or grief
- Moving and starting over in a new environment
- Changing jobs/careers and creating new relationships with coworkers
- Becoming a stay-at-home mom and not having the same adult interactions as when you were working
- Having trouble meeting other likeminded adults who truly understand you
- Relationship issues with your partner can leave you feeling very alone
Once you know some of your own personal loneliness triggers, what should you do with this information? Try to figure out some creative ways to add more connection with others into your life. Things such as…
- Figure out what you are and are not comfortable doing in person (especially after spending so much time online over the past year)
- Reach out to friends and neighbors just to say hi
- Talk to a therapist
- Look for activities in your community that interest you
- Invite new coworkers to lunch
- Connect with other stay-at-home moms in your area through groups like MOPS or MOMS Club
- Be open to the people you meet in your community (Your new BFF might live right down the street from you)
- Talk to you partner about the emotional disconnect between the two of you
The following are some ways to reconnect with yourself when you’re feeling lonely:
- Talk about your feelings of loneliness with a therapist
- Write it all down- journaling is a great place to process your feelings about journaling
- Find time to do something you love such as watch your new favorite Netflix show
- Do some research of your own on loneliness- find out more about this topic online, in books, on podcasts, etc.
- Create time to sit with your feelings of loneliness and allow yourself the space to really feel these feelings
- Prioritize your self-care by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, getting the right amount of sleep for your body, etc.
- Go outside and focus on the natural beauty all around you
- Go for a walk to clear your mind and get some exercise
- Work on mindfulness and concentrate on your five senses to help ground you in this moment
- 10.Focus on gratitude and all the things in your life that you’re truly grateful for right now
If you or someone you know is feeling sad and lonely right now, please reach out to a doctor or therapist in your area for help and support.