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Understanding and managing loneliness

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Community

Virtually everyone experiences loneliness from time to time, but for single moms, loneliness can become an overwhelming burden.

Loneliness is one of the most common emotions shared by single moms, despite the fact that they are rarely alone as they balance work, children, school, and life. Loneliness is not necessarily about being alone; it's the perception of being alone and isolated. Overcoming loneliness requires understanding and managing the triggers that bring about the feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

Here are some ways that can help keep loneliness at bay:

  • Remember you are not alone. Many single moms experiencing loneliness express that they feel they don't belong or aren't normal. The realization that others experience the same feelings can be the first step in rebuilding confidence and overcoming loneliness.
     
  • Develop and grow a network of friends, family, support groups, other single moms or online groups. Support networks can be invaluable to single moms, as a salve for loneliness and a motivator to socialize. 
     
  • Stay busy and active to take your mind off the feelings of loneliness. This could be a perfect time to try new activities, get a hobby, build on current interests or volunteer.
     
  • Be patient and gentle with yourself. The most important aspect to keep in mind is that this takes time. Experiencing your emotions is an important part of the healing process. There will be good days and bad days.

Loneliness can be cured and isn't permanent. Understand that you are not alone and that you can make a difference to yourself and your children. Dealing with loneliness and overcoming it can be a life-changing event that shows your children you have courage, strength, and determination.

If you are a single mother in need of support, contact Joann McKinlay at jmckinlay@ywcavan.org | 604 895 5849 . Groups are offered across Metro Vancouver in a neighbourhood near you. Support groups are a free and childminding is provided. 

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