It’s not uncommon for new mothers to feel isolated; in fact, plenty of research suggests that many new moms experience feelings of isolation.
After all, as a new birth mother especially, your body has undergone some serious changes that have affected you both physically and mentally. And the reality is that parenting isn’t necessarily easy — it can feel lonely figuring it all out for yourself (even if others do toss around a thousand unsolicited opinions on how to do it right).
So how can you pull yourself out of this feeling of seclusion? Here are seven simple steps that can assuage your loneliness.
1. Join social programs in your neighborhood.
Consider joining local programs that’ll connect you with others in your neighborhood. This might mean signing up to take some yoga classes in town, or it may mean getting involved with the city council. Whatever you decide to explore, immerse yourself in your local environment.
2. Talk to other new mothers in your area.
Chances are that, even if you feel alone, you’re probably not the only other new mother in your area. Join a local new-mom group where you can act as sounding boards for each other. If you don’t know where to find them, ask around. You may be surprised by just how many people are willing to help you — or at least lend an ear.
3. Join Facebook mom groups.
There are tons of social media groups for new mothers, particularly on Facebook. Look into groups like New Moms, Moms-to-Be and Experienced Moms; Support Group for Mothers; New Mom Support Group and New Mom Advice & Support Group. These, among others, boast thousands of other mothers looking for advice and support, just like you. Sharing your experiences with each other, and even lending help yourself, can be a really fulfilling experience.
4. Take some time to bask in the isolation.
If you’re feeling alone, perhaps you want to take some time to bask in the isolation. Self-care is important, especially as a new mother. Take some time to be with yourself and ruminate on just how strong you are for figuring out this whole parenting thing at your own pace. Do something kind and positive for yourself that you enjoy doing in solitude, like taking time to catch up on a book you love or going for a cathartic walk.
5. Surround yourself with close friends and family.
The best way to pull yourself out of feelings of loneliness is to surround yourself with a support network of friends and family. If you need some help, ask for it. It doesn’t make you weak to ask for assistance — and, again, you may be surprised by how many people will be there for you.
6. Talk to a therapist.
If you’re feeling like your loneliness is devolving into depression, or perhaps is already rooted in depression, you should seek out professional help. Reach out to therapists in your area to discuss your situation and figure out your next steps together. You may be experiencing postpartum depression, which is not uncommon; you can learn more about it here.
7. Talk to other mothers online.
Don’t forget that we internet folks are here for you, too! As are all the other mothers who are part of this community of women who are rooting for each other. If you need advice or want to feel more connected to other people who understand where you’re coming from, leave a post in the FGB Community or the SheKnows Facebook page and find the support you need.
This article originally appeared on Fairygodboss. As the largest career community for women, Fairygodboss provides millions of women with career connections, community advice and hard-to-find intel about how companies treat women.