You don’t need to do it alone. It’s hard I know! So, I would definitely recommend if you have no close family or friends to reach out to try other places. There are remarkable organisations like OPFS which go above and beyond to support you every step of the way.
Keep in touch with people who are important to you.
Spend time with close friends. Find a way to fit them around your kids.
As humans, we rely on one another. It’s built into us:
- We need other people in our lives
- It’s stressful for us if we feel alone
- Connecting with others is important for our wellbeing: it makes us feel better
When we don’t have much time or energy, or aren’t feeling great about ourselves, it can be hard to take the first step, and to reach out to others.
There are some tips below which others have found useful for developing social circles, whether near where they live or online.
It’s important that we connect with people we trust and feel comfortable with. This could be:
- Friends and family
- Social groups online and offline
- Support organisations
The Mental Health Foundation has advice on friendship and mental health and talking to your friends about problems.
There are many organisations in Scotland which offer befriending services to people who are lonely and need a bit of support. Befriending Networks has an online directory so you can find out what’s in your area.
- Practise keeping in touch with others by, for example, phoning or messaging a friend
- Go to a library or a café so you can be somewhere (with your children too) where other people are around. Play parks can be good too. These are places where you can exchange a few words with someone without getting too involved
- It takes trust to make and keep friendships. If it’s hard for you to trust other people, it could help to start by going to an activity group like a walking group or a craft group. This could also be a group for other single parents. You can then meet people who you’ve got something in common with
- If there’s someone in your life who often lets you down, it might be time to let go of them. Sometimes we hold on to friends and other relationships that don’t feel good, especially if we feel lonely. It not good for your self-esteem and may stop other people coming into your life
- Remember that most people have hard times at some point. If you reach out to someone else, it can allow them to open up too
- Go easy on yourself. Try to remember what’s good about you and what you can offer in a friendship. Have a look at ‘being kind to yourself’
- Many of us worry about being rejected. If you ask for something and someone says no, it doesn’t mean it’s about you or anything you’ve done. Everyone has the right to say no. They might say yes the next time you ask
- If this feels like too much, or you don’t know where or how to start, you could ask for help with this. There are many organisations offering activities, groups, and face-to-face, phone or online support, advice and counselling. All of these can help you to feel less alone. Visit the links below to find out more.