Feeling less lonely and more in touch with others

Last updated: 23/06/2020

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It’s really common to feel lonely if you’re the only adult in the household, and when you’re under a lot of stress. When you have children to look after, it can be hard to keep up connections with friends and family.

There are things you can do to feel a bit less isolated, from working on your self-esteem, to finding new ways to meet people, to taking up hobbies or volunteering.

Self-esteem and confidence

Self-esteem and confidence can affect how you connect with other people, and if you have a low opinion of yourself it can impact on your mental wellbeing. If you make an effort to be kind to yourself (see our tips on taking care of yourself) this can make a big difference.

UK charity Mind has information, tips and video clips about boosting self-esteem and NHS moodjuice has a self-help guide on being assertive.

Connections

Connecting with others is important for our wellbeing: it makes us feel better. There are some tips which others have found useful for developing social circles.

  • Go to a park, library or a café so you can be somewhere with your children where other people are around. These are places where you can exchange a few words with someone without getting too involved.
  • Many organisations offer activities, groups, and face-to-face, phone or online support and advice. These could help you to feel less alone and meet new people. One Parent Families Scotland has groups in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, and Lanarkshire, and there are links to other organisations which might help on our My life and me website.
  • Find community online. Using social media and online forums and blogs, there are ways to connect with people with almost any interest you could think of. Some mental health-specific online communities include Elefriends, Big White Wall, and SANE Support Forums. Many organisations around Scotland are also running online social groups.

Opportunities

If you are feeling low, going out and doing something might be the last thing on your mind, but once you start, you might be surprised by how much it helps.

  • Activities and hobbies are great ways to meet other people and make yourself feel better. On Meetup.com you can find groups all over Scotland and details of upcoming events under headings like outdoors and adventure, photography, writing, music, sport, book clubs, food and drink, and arts and crafts. Our local services arrange activities and they can tell you about other activities in your area.
  • Volunteering can help you feel like part of a community, while learning something new and building your confidence. Look at websites such as Volunteer Scotland, Get Involved! or Volunteering Matters to find out about opportunities to volunteer in your area, or check Facebook as there may be a local page for your town/area with a note of where volunteers are needed.

Managing loneliness

Loneliness is a common feeling which usually passes. Why not plan to do something at the times you usually feel loneliest, like chatting to someone or watching a film?

Loneliness isn’t necessarily about being alone – feeling that you’re on your own with your problems can make you feel disconnected. Remember you can contact our Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323 or our live chat for advice and information, or take a look at our local services which run one-to-one and group support.