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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I meet new people and to start enjoying life again?

    I have few friends who I rarely see, my friend committed suicide early this month and ever since my life has gone on a downward spiral. I am lonely and depressed. I do not have suicidal thoughts myself, as I have a 2yr old daughter, but I just can't seem to enjoy life anymore. I am smoking very heavily since all this as well. I was wondering how would you suggest i meet new people and to start enjoying life again?
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  • 1

    Thanks

    Marie Roberts

    Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    An accredited, experienced psychologist who works with adults, couples, children and families across a range of issues. These include depression, anxiety, trauma, workplace conflict, life … View Profile

    Your love for your daughter and your care for your friend shine through! Good to see you mustering the energy to try and build a happier life. Meeting new people is an excellent way to start the process.
     
    Children are a great stepping stone to making new friendships. Consider looking for a local playgroup with like minded mothers or search out an activity that your daughter might enjoy. Some possibilities might be dance or gym, swimming, story-sharing or art activities- there are many activities run by local councils or see what’s on offer at your local Library or Community House Centre. Go to a few of your local parks and let your toddler play with kids there. Take a chance and talk with the other mothers. You may find some with things in common. Organise a play date with another toddler and Mum.
     
    Try to make some time to have fun yourself. Everyone needs some good times to get them through and it’s far easier to deal with parenting stresses when you are not running on empty.
     
    You might consider joining a walking group or even starting one up in your area if none exists. A simple ad on your local supermarket or bookstore (if you have one) notice board might be helpful in getting the ball rolling. . If you can afford it, think about going to a gym or dance class. Getting fit is a good way of combating the draining effects of depression.
     
    What interests do you have or what knowledge do you want to build up? Can you sing in tune? Think about joining a community choir for an instant network. Or look for a craft or gardening group, cooking or computer classes etc if you are at all creative. If you have any religious beliefs see what’s on offer at your local church.
     
    If you have access to baby sitting, you might consider some form of paid work or volunteer work. The latter doesn’t have to be regular and it might take a few tries before you find something that suits but there are many agencies who welcome support. You will be helping others and hopefully yourself. Again, look to your local council for information or just approach local bodies that you think look promising. The internet, if you have access, has lists of agencies seeking volunteer assistance.
     
    Take on just as much as you think you can manage. It’s surprising where small first steps might lead. If you find yourself still unable to shake the blues, think about talking to your GP and asking for a Care Plan to talk to a psychologist to help sort things out with some professional assistance. Best of Luck in your endeavours.

    Marie Roberts (Psychologist)

  • Lucy Appadoo

    Counsellor

    I am a Registered Counsellor and Wellness Coach who specialises in grief and loss, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger management, and stress management. I have … View Profile

    I am really sorry to hear about your friend and the way you're feeling at the moment.  The loneliness and sadness you feel seem to stem from a number of factors, and it is important to engage in some activities that give you a sense of pleasure and those that give you a sense of achievement.  Engaging in these interests will give you the motivation and drive to interact with other people, and to find some like-minded friends.  You will also begin to feel that there is some joy in your life, and that you have control over engaging in tasks that alter your mood.

    Perhaps consider joining a group that caters to your interests whether it be writing, knitting, sewing, sports etc.  There are many advertisements in the local paper that you can browse through, and the Internet is a great source as well.

    Going to your local community centre is a great resource in terms of classes and social outings.  There are friendship groups usually advertised, but check that the people in the group are within your own age bracket.

    Grow Victoria is a great self-help group that assists people experiencing personal conflict, and there would be a Meeting near you.  There is a booklet that you're given in the group, and social events are also organised.  It's a great way to share common concerns and to have some fun with people who share pain similar to your own.

    You could contact your local library and become a part of a book chat group if you have an interest in reading a variety of books.  Or if you have an interest in the New Age area, you could consider joining a Meditation class or a Dream group, which are advertised on the Internet or in wellness clinics.

    You could be experiencing conflict due to your role transition as a new mother, considering you have a 2-year old.  This is quite a challenge, so perhaps you could consider asking your family to babysit while you let your hair down and do something fun.

    Perhaps consider keeping a journal that outlines the positives and negatives of being a mother,
    as well as the advantages and disadvantages of having no children.  It provides you with a balanced view of your life, and allows you to grieve the old way of life if that old life did appeal to you.  Also consider keeping a gratitude journal to remind you of all the things in your life that you can be grateful for.

    You can go at your own pace, but do remember that there are many supports and events out there that can make a huge difference to your world.  Good luck!! 

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    Hello, It can be very hard when we find ourselves in a downward spiral. Grief takes many twists and turns. I suggest you get some assistance through counselling to manage your grief. It is still so recent and you may take some time to process your sadness and loss about your friend. It is a measure of having loved at all that we can feel such deep pain and loss when we lose someone we love. And suicide makes it even harder.

    Take one day at a time, and try simple things that bring you small happinesses. Try noticing a sunset or a beautiful tree or the colours of the leaves as they fall. Practice being present in the moment day by day and ask yourself what am i grateful for?

    Even though you may not feel like it, write down 3 things every day for which you are grateful be they small or large.

    Get help to stop smoking so much. Good luck!

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