Part 2. – Loneliness from the view of a single parent
You can read now Kifa’s story who has recently been left alone with her two children by her husband (1.5 months ago). She is from Sri Lanka and she is an English teacher. Kifa contributed in the success of this blog in the first 6 months of it; she reviewed my posts and made corrections when needed. During the hundreds of chats we had in the last two years, I gave her over the essence I read from books, seminars, helped her to overcome difficulties in life and we soon became friends. She has recently moved to a new apartment and she has only her children accompanying her and in the neighbourhood her mother. She is a very conscious and smart woman who often have to deal with loneliness too. I decided to interview her as I am sure she can inspire other single parents and can give us tips about how to deal better with the feeling when we feel so alone in the World.
Zollie: how do you deal nowadays with loneliness?
Kifa: Loneliness and isolation often affected me more after the end of my relationship with my husband and when he left me with my two small kids. I often started getting bad dreams, felt hopeless, angry, anxiety and depression – as this is a new thing I experiencing as a single mom now in my life. It’s so hurting, sucking all my energies and putting me down mentally, emotionally and physically too. There are days when I need someone next to me to talk and share my feelings with. I need somebody to help me healing with a hug and who can give me some caring words, but it all seems to me as a dream now. In the beginning, all what I did was to suffer alone without trying to find any solution to shift from this mood. I also feared to share my problems with others thinking what if others will laugh at me or give false advices or even try to break my wounded heart. After being in a relationship for a long period with lots of dreams and hopes and at a sudden when the other person is no longer there in your life, this can affect anyone mentally as well as physically a lot.
A month after my breakup, l slowly started to change myself with the help of my one and only best friend, Zollie. He helped me so much to realize to let things go away which are not belong for us is the best option for less worries and to overcome and start a new life. Zollie, thank you so much for helping me by motivating me in this situation to face my problems strong. Your help is priceless. It helped me a lot after sharing my problems with you to find my life and you gave me the power for it. I was filled with lots of negative thoughts. But your efforts finally changed my mind to think positive again. As a single parent with two kids having a good friend to discuss any problem is a good solution to avoid loneliness. Not everyone can help you but choosing a one or two close friends to share your personal problems is really helpful. It worked for me and it was the first thing helped me to take my steps forward. Even though I had other friends I chose Zollie to share my problems with and finally his support and motivation showed me the value of my life and it’s no use of wasting for an unworthy person. A best friend’s support is always invaluable to me.
Whenever I feel sad or loneliness the first thing I do is to share my sadness with someone, with a very close trustworthy friend to heal myself first. If you do not have a close friend to talk with, you can talk to a coach or to any other mental health specialist. Talking out my sorrow really helps me in the healing process. Simply sending a message or a call to talk will work wonder than keeping everything inside your heart. When you don’t discuss it will make things more complicated. Talking about our problems with a trusted person can help us to work out what is bothering us and to figure out what we can do about it. It also helps us to understand how and why we think and feel the way we do. Such insight increases our ability to handle future thoughts and emotions. So talk with someone. You can allow yourself to do whatever it takes to feel better; you can divert your mind into something else like watching a happy movie, listening to calm songs and music, having more talks and time with kids and friends, doing some housework. These all can help you to calm your mind. Kisses and hugs from kids are the best painkillers for a mother in a situation like this. So always care and show love to them. Children can feel what you feel. So be there for them, be patient and try to handle everything smoothly.
Zollie: Thank you Kifa for the kind words, I am glad I could be the one you have chosen to help going through the time when your husband left you. I could see a huge transformation you went through even in just one month. Many people could not have handle this situation that smoothly, like how you did. You took full ownership and responsibility of the situation, started building your new life. What other tips can you give to the single parents out there, who are in your shoes now, how can they handle loneliness the best?
A single parent often feels lonely. Coming out of a relationship would leave anyone feeling a little lonely. Raising kids alone will also limit the time you can spend with friends or going out to make new friends. Anyone can feel loneliness and emotionally fed up at any time for any reason and no one likes to feel that way. Nor do we like the other feelings that can come with it, like left out, abandoned, ignored, or unliked. Fortunately, we don’t have to feel any of those things if we don’t want to. No one’s going to do it for us, but if we’re willing to do a few simple things, we can decrease our feelings of loneliness and start feeling more connected and happy almost immediately. When you feel loneliness it’s always best to keep your mind busy with something else. It doesn’t mean that you have to work for 24/7. You can make yourself busy with interesting works you love to do like having “ME” time which most of the time we miss after marriage and having kids. To refresh you, definitely you should need a little bit of time for yourself. This will bring so much of changes into your new life. At first, I didn’t believe or didn’t want to try but this worked like a magic in my life. So this idea finally made me to start living my life based on a daily routine and do things according to a time table. So plan yours and your kids works and you will feel how happy you are when you have become an organized person. You don’t need to rush and work like a machine. You will feel relaxed and happy in your home while having an extra time for yourself too. So you can try anything in you time which is only for you.
HYGIENE COMES FIRST
Always take attention on your personal hygiene. There are mothers who don’t wear clean clothes, brush teeth or comb hair, showering less frequently after having kids. This problem is mostly among Asian mothers who have false idea carried from the old generation saying “We are mothers now, we should live for our kids, sacrificing our hope, dreams and happiness”. Motherhood is something else and it’s not correct to say any mom that you shouldn’t do this and that. Still we should have our own freedom to wear what we like, go where we want. So don’t forget to care yourself. Take shower daily, keep your face and body moisture by applying a good lotion, wear nice clean dresses and always smell good. You may don’t have enough clothes but still try to dress well with what you have. Your children will improve so much when they see a happy, balanced and beautiful mom at home.
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR POSITIVE LOOK
Never let yourself down after you became single. You need to look good and happy to help others -who are around you- to live happily, especially for your child/children. Maintain your body if you have gained more weight after pregnancy or even if you look good try to maintain you figure. You can do yoga or any other exercises each day to keep yourself healthy and fit. This habit will surely improve your appearance as well as help so much to balance your mentality.
LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Take a balanced diet adding more veggies and fruits in to your meals. It’s you are the one who is there for your kids so first you have to be strong and healthy for them. Avoid or limit consuming junk food which is really bad for your health if you love your body and on the other hand, it also helps to save a lot of money in your pocket.
TAKE CARE OF MENTAL HEALTH
A single mother is often more overwhelmed with emotions than mothers who are in a happy relationship. So try to do more relaxing exercises,Yoga, having chats with good friends and family members, visiting them with your kids. Spending some time outside your home, will make you feel better. Take your kids to parks or any other playing areas near you, take them with you when you go shopping. So both you and your kids can be benefited from such simple activities. All these small tips can really work in a positive way to change your mood.
BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Start to learn a new language or continue your studies which you missed long time back. I too have started to learn French and hoping to learn so much of new things soon. You can spend at least half an hour each day is more than enough to learn a new language or a skill.
HAVE MORE HOBBIES
Having plenty of hobbies is another tip to keep you engage more hours happily. You can start gardening (Where you can grow your own veggies at home for your consumption which is healthy also you can save some extra pennies), drawing, trying new recipes, penpaling (which is another good idea to get connected with different people around the world – this is how I got know Hunthentic Zollie!), reading, spending time on creativity etc.
Spending time with your kids will strengthen your bond with them also, they will get enough time to understand your love and care for them. You will be able to identify their talents and you can help them more to go higher in their hidden abilities by helping to learn and showing them the correct path in life.
Zollie: What advice would you give for the fellow single parents out there to have the motivation to keep going, even alone?
Kifa: Single parents are superheroes. They can do amazing things with little love. With my own experiences I can feel how challenging this life is to handle everything alone with children. We should be proud about ourselves, about the courage, strength that we have. The advices I have for single parents are to make plans in your life, set goals to reach where you want to be, have dreams for you and for your children and make everything possible for making the dreams come true. Find ways to move to your targets. I know things will be tough at first but take small steps. Work on having a strong confidence (positive affirmations do help a lot). Don’t let anyone to control you do not limit yourself. Be flexible and it’s you who knows about you, your life and what you need to do. Don’t feel guilty about yourself that you couldn’t do this for your kids and you don’t provide enough for them. Find ways to get a good job with your educational qualifications while you are studying and improving your qualifications. Have quality time with others, show more love and care to your children. You have to believe yourself first. You have the courage to keep going, so never give up.
Be positive and always keep your vibe up with good things. Best of luck for all the single mothers and fathers around the World. You are the best and capable of anything to do alone..keep smiling and shining!
Zollie: I hope, you liked Kifa’s story, please give her some support by commenting or sharing this post. I am soon coming with Part 3, when I am going to interview my Digital Nomad friend and will ask him about his view about loneliness.