Instead of hunkering down alone, reach out. You don’t need large chunks of time to invest in friendship. Get together with, phone, or text a friend. Connect with another parent on a similar path. Ask for help. Offer a compliment or support to someone else.
Relationships will carry you through challenges and celebrations alike. Genuine friendships provide true fulfillment, and are shown to increase longevity and improve health by boosting optimism and connection.
A 75-year "Adult Development" study conducted at Harvard by found that supportive relationships keep us healthier and happier. A key finding was that creating micro experiences that cause an emotional uplifting in others is one of the most efficient ways to foster such connections.
Another study buy Stanford researcher Shelley Taylor identified the "tend and befriend" response as an antidote to stress. Connecting with friends activates the release of the hormone oxytocin, leading to improved confidence, courage and trust while decreasing fear, stress and anxiety.