Hi Hank (I'm picturing you as Hank Hill, which combined with your being a dd is kind of a funny image!)
I'm not a daddy nor am I single, but I struggle with those feelings a lot so I hope I can offer some advice that transcends those things (though obviously I hope other daddies weigh in for more specific advice).
- Distraction helps at least in the short-term. I have ADHD so keeping about a hundred things going at once is the only way I can keep myself from thinking/overthinking. Find new TV shows and binge on 'em. (If you can afford a Hulu subscription, I recommend getting one; their TV show selection is way better than Netflix!) Download fun apps that keep your mind busy.
- Listen to podcasts if you enjoy them, or find YouTubers who post content that interests you. Besides keeping my mind occupied I find they help me feel less lonely.
- This might just be a me thing, but keeping the TV on one of the home shopping channels makes me feel less lonely when I'm just going about my day. I don't know why!
- Some people find meditation or relaxation apps really helpful. I'm not one of them, but it's worth a shot. Also ASMR videos for relaxation (again, not my thing, but others like them).
- When I was younger and had panic attacks in public, it'd help me to make lists of things in my head. Like I'd sort all the Neopets species alphabetically. (If laughing at how dorky I was/am helps, you can also do that
) Now I have apps that are capable of distracting me if that happens but if you're in a situation where you can't take your phone out (business meeting, doctor's office), that might help. Fidget cubes, mermaid bracelets and other "sensory" toys help me manage my anxiety somewhat when I'm in a place where I need to be still but am internally freaking out (theater, classroom).
- Try Meetup or a similar site to find local people to hang out with or fun things to do. If you have social anxiety this can be challenging but rewarding.
- Don't be embarrassed about going out by yourself - I know people can feel like eating out or going to a movie alone is "sad" somehow but sometimes it's more fun than staying in! Personally I like the theatre so I see a lot of shows alone (sometimes my partner or mother want to come along but usually it's just me). And it can just feel refreshing to get outside of your home even if you don't feel like actually doing so.
- If you're looking to not be single, there's no embarrassment in dating sites these days; it's how a lot of people meet.
- There is absolutely 100% nothing to be embarrassed about if you feel like seeing a mental health care professional to help you sort out your feelings and how to deal with them. A good counselor or a psychologist can be hard to find, but goodtherapy dot org exists specifically to match people with mental health care providers based on location, income and specialty.