i thHi there
I am a 43-year-old mum that has had anxiety for multiple years before having my two children, 8 and 2. I am married and work part time.
I have noticed feelings of jealousy, comparison and annoyance with social media and sometimes I feel like deleting it but of course, the FOMO creeps in especially when my family are overseas and I don't have much to do with my brother that lives in another part of Australia. This has been ongoing for many years. I don't really have a close relationship with my hubby's family (and don't really want to) and
Ideally, I want to make new friends but don't know how to do that without having to have facebook, instagram, social media. I have decided the only way I can do this is to make friends in activities I do with my kids or at my workplace
I attended a play group today for my 2 year old and I felt socially awkward.
I do online exercise as I don't think I could do creche at my gym. I love walks. I love music and movies.
Thank you for your post. Social connection is a big part of mental health and there is nothing wrong with craving it when seeing others. However, as you may have noticed, simple FOMO can turn into an unhealthy obsession at which point a social media detox works wonders (at least in my experience). I try not to go on instagram or facebook more than once a day.
Attending play groups are a great idea to make friends however it is definitely worth while having something for yourself. Some gyms hold 30 minute classes for beginners which is another great way to meet people and do exercise. Some areas also have walking groups though I don't know any for mums unfortunately. Another great outlet is book or movie clubs if you can find any in your local area.
Hope that helps a little,
I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling this way, but it's great that you're reaching out for suggestions and seeking positive change. It can indeed be challenging to manage social anxieties and feelings of comparison or jealousy, especially with the ubiquity of social media. However, there are many other ways to meet new people and cultivate friendships outside of these platforms.
Given your love for walks, music, and movies, have you ever considered seeking out groups or clubs that revolve around these interests? For instance, you might find walking or hiking groups, book clubs. There might be community activities that you can join.
Community events or local festivals are great places to meet new people. You might also consider volunteering for such events as this tends to bring you in contact with like-minded individuals.
You may want to continue attending play groups or similar events that you can attend with your kids. Even though you felt socially awkward today, remember that it's okay to feel uncomfortable at first. With time, these feelings usually lessen as you become familiar with the environment and the other attendees.
You can also consider attending a casual after-work gathering or lunch with your colleagues. This could potentially help you forge friendships outside of your work environment.
If you're open to the idea, consider joining a local exercise group or class that doesn't require the use of a gym creche. For example, outdoor yoga, can be a fun way to meet new people.
One last idea (but it works for me well) - volunteering. It can provide you with a sense of purpose and a way to connect with others. This could be at a local charity, community center, or even your kids' school.
It's natural to feel a bit nervous when meeting new people, especially if you're not in the habit of doing it often. It may take time, but gradually these feelings of nervousness will decrease. Be patient with yourself and keep in mind that the most important part is to enjoy the activities you're doing. The friendships often come naturally from there.
Hope it helps a bit.