Home > Health > Mind > You’re Not Alone; How To Combat Loneliness In Motherhood

Written by Emmy Brunner

Being a mum, especially a new mum, can feel isolating at the best of times. And since that first lockdown, it feels as though a new kind of fog has descended. The reflecting has stopped, feelings of isolation intensified and the motivation for change and connection has waned. It feels as though so many of us are just treading water and wondering how on earth to change things.  In my work, I have seen even the most ‘together’ mums feel alone and like they just don’t know how to break through the fog. 

While the pandemic is intensifying so many feelings for us, loneliness in motherhood is a very common feeling.  In fact, the recent research from The Mum Club confirms this, with 40% of mums saying they feel lonely most or all of the time. In motherhood, we can feel the world exists around us and we just seem to be on the outside of everything. When nothing is really connecting to us or we are not connecting to anybody else and we feel very isolated, that’s when the loneliness really sets in.

One of the most important things you can do is to simply validate how you’re feeling. In my work, a lot of healing starts with self-validation. By saying it’s ok to feel a certain way is a first step to understanding why we feel that way. We can then actively work to fight our feelings of loneliness with actions that can easily fit into your life. 

  1. Be kind.
    Work on being as kind to yourself as possible. When we’re going through hard times and feeling vulnerable, we need to be especially mindful of the way that we’re talking to ourselves. Being conscious of the tone and words that you’re using can be helpful to introduce a more compassionate narrative.
  2. Reach out
    When we’re feeling low and isolated, the darkness can be tempting to sink into. Challenge yourself to connect with a friend, let people know that you’re struggling. We can’t expect support and help if we don’t communicate what’s going on with us. It’s possibly the last thing you feel like doing, but it could be the most important.
  3. Connect with your body
    Find ways to move your body and connect with yourself. Dancing with the children, doing some gentle yoga or breath work are amazing ways of maintaining that relationship with your physical self.
  4. Meditation.
    The most impactful way of soothing an anxious mind is through meditation. If you’ve tried this and struggled, don’t worry that’s all part of the process and persistence is the key. Explore different meditation styles and see what you connect with most and what you find it easiest to engage with…do you like listening to the sounds in nature? Do you find guided breath focused meditations relaxing? Or perhaps you find the sound of a particular person’s voice soothing? See what’s for you and then try and stick with it.
  5. Use nature.
    Getting outside is a wonderful tool to bring us out of our heads and back into connection with ourselves and the world. It’s been a tough few months and many of us have been locked up in doors avoiding the rain and the dark afternoons. Or if you’re a new mum, this feeling of ‘cabin fever’ is very real. Spring is a wonderful time to begin to re-emerge, use nature as your inspiration, turn your face toward the sun and get outside as often as you can – promise yourself once a day at least.
  6. Reconnect with you.
    Commit to spending time, when you can, doing an activity you loved prior to having children. This could even be something that you let go of as you became an adult. By reconnecting with the things that bring us joy, we reconnect with ourselves. A loss of self can greatly contribute to feelings of loneliness.

For more inspiration and mental health and wellness insight follow psychotherapist, personal transformation coach, founder of the Recover Clinic and author Emmy Brunner at @emmybrunneroffical on Instagram, visit www.emmybrunner.com

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