Going through a divorce, even a civil one, is a stressful time in everyone’s life. Such an end to an era comes with a number of different changes that affect our mood, energy levels, and even our self-perception.
How could it not, after spending any amount of time perceiving yourself as a part of a duo, and your identity inevitably becomes inextricably intertwined with this “other half” in our life. Once that person leaves, there’s a void you cannot ignore, even when the divorce brings you relief or peace.
However, while most of us would do our best to spend our time with friends and family, eventually, loneliness can catch up with you.
Now, it’s important to understand that in addition to stress, loneliness is an emotional state that can also have a negative impact on your wellbeing. To put things in perspective, loneliness can be as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes every day. As a result of loneliness, your long-term health is jeopardized, and you may even be exposed to an increased risk of dementia and many other diseases.
We all need a strategy to overcome loneliness after divorce.
It’s easy to confuse solitude for loneliness. Especially if you associate happiness and fulfillment with the presence of a particular person in your life. But the simple truth is, if you do feel lonely after ending a marriage, you will likely feel lonely even when you’re at a party, surrounded by people, in a crowded restaurant, or at a coffee date with your best friends. Loneliness is a distinct feeling of lacking that deep connection in your life that was once there, a feeling of isolation, of not belonging.
Alone time is a healthy concept, but if you’re still getting used to your new pace of life, you may find yourself completely drowned in loneliness. In an attempt to prevent or minimize this negative emotion, people often do their best to spend all of their time surrounded by people. The truth is, it’s healthy to be alone and to start enjoying your alone time, especially through building a routine that is about self-care.
The very first step you need to take is to embrace solitude as a part of your routine. You should spend time with friends and family, but not in a frantic, “I cannot be left alone” manner. Spend time with those you love when you wish to bond with them properly and enjoy their company. Don’t use them as an excuse not to be alone.
Only by embracing solitude can you overcome the feeling of loneliness and rebuild your emotional stability one day at a time. Having a routine that aims to give you resilience and independence is a great place to being.
Resilience through exercise
We all know that working out is one of the healthiest habits you can introduce in your life. However, when faced with a drastic change such as ending a relationship, we may lose the motivation and energy necessary to stay consistent with such a routine. Then again, those who’ve never really had a workout routine may need other supportive habits to introduce this change after a divorce.
To motivate yourself, you can treat yourself with flattering and durable bodybuilding clothing that will inspire you to go back to the gym and push through every time you feel like quitting. What we wear has a profound psychological impact on our self-perception and motivation. Add to that, if you pay for a gym membership, you’ll be inclined to make use of that hefty investment and start working on yourself. Regular training will allow you to see yourself progress, and you’ll find the process rewarding and fulfilling.
Enjoy the human connection
You may feel the urge to instantly look for someone who will fill that gap in your life after years of being married. You miss the role of being someone’s spouse, you miss the intimacy, the romance, holding hands, spending a weekend together, all the good things that come with a relationship that thrives. However, it’s vital that you give yourself time to heal before you jump at the prospect of a new partner.
Instead, strike that fine balance of spending time with your friends and family, get to know yourself outside of marriage. And you can devote some of your time to volunteering, which will help you feel more connected and add value to your life.
Pamper your mind with meditation
Another segment of your routine that can be exceptionally beneficial is meditation. Loneliness comes with its own physiological changes in your body, including the increase of your stress levels and consequently the rise of cortisol. Adding meditation into your morning routine will allow you to brace yourself for another day with the help of affirmations, and build a positive mindset and attitude towards the day ahead.
It can be as brief as fifteen minutes, and you can always prepare your affirmations beforehand. This can help you create a structure around this mindful ritual and even use those positive thoughts throughout the day to help you overcome loneliness after divorce.
Keep in mind that this can be a long process. This is a new stage of your life, and you should give yourself enough care, kindness, and patience to go through all the ups and downs and come out stronger than ever. While loneliness can be a crippling disease, solitude can be your most valuable healing tool. Use these tips to build your own self-care routine and learn to cherish those moments of solitude.
Lauren Laporte is a health writer at ripped.me. Her favorite subjects revolve around mental and physical health, and how they inevitably affect each-other. Inspired by mountains of research and the latest in the fields of nutrition, neuroscience and cognitive science, she’s motivated to inform people of just how much they’re all interconnected. She’s into both nature and nurture, and believes that to be the main message her writing is sending out. www.ripped.me/author/lauren-laporte