It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a messy divorce, finalizing the legal paperwork, or a year or two out from the chaotic process — separating from a partner can be devastating. Mutual or not, the emotional pain of ending a relationship can linger indefinitely.
And no wonder. You may have spent years, maybe even decades, investing in another person. You’ve supported and been supported by your partner, found meaning and value in your marriage, and felt that you’re making a difference.
To strip all of that away can feel mind-numbing at best. This article isn’t here to tell you to ignore that pain or to act like your previous life never happened. On the contrary, your past is an intimate part of who you are, where you came from, and where you’re going.
As you navigate your feelings, however, remember the fact that your divorce isn’t everything. Finding meaning, good health, and personal fulfillment through an eco-friendly lifestyle to cope with divorce can make all the difference.
Your Lifestyle Matters
It may sound cliche, but your life really isn’t over until it’s over. The end of your marriage isn’t the end of you. With that said, there are many different ways to move forward from a divorce, no matter how painful. In order to begin to find the value, beauty, and love of life in new ways, try to embrace a new lifestyle.
It’s tempting to slip into depression and despondency in the wake of separation. This can lead to general apathy, self-indulgence, and carelessness about how your actions affect the world around you. But the truth is, the lifestyle you live doesn’t need to nosedive just because you’re hurting. On the contrary, your lifestyle can be a lifeline of hope that can bolster your courage, rally your spirits, and give you direction and meaning in the days, months, and years ahead.
How to Lead an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle to Cope With Divorce
There are a few ways that you can lead an eco-friendly lifestyle to cope with divorce and restore a sense of meaning in your life. Here are a few of them.
Moving Into Meaning
Post-marriage life can often involve the difficult task of relocating. Upending your life, separating your belongings from your ex’s, packing them up, and then finding a new home for them can be challenging, stressful, and even traumatic in some cases. However, if one of your goals is to be eco-friendly in your new life, there are many ways to do so while relocating that can also strengthen your spirits in the process.
For instance, having those lifestyle standards can give you something positive to focus on during the move. Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on taking the time to clean your new space with natural cleaning solutions. Look for recyclable or reusable packing boxes and containers, and be conscious about what you decide to bring with you. The effort to have a minimal impact on the Earth as you move can be a welcome distraction from tumultuous life changes.
Establishing With the Earth in Mind
Once you’ve moved into your new place, it can be helpful to continue that eco-conscious crusade as you settle in. Look for ways to maintain a green apartment or house for the long haul, including:
- Switching out old lightbulbs for fluorescent or LED alternatives.
- Decorating with live greenery to help with both aesthetics and air quality.
- Adding a garden — of any size — to provide healthy food for the household and serve as a meaningful, productive hobby.
- Furnish your new home with recycled or upcycled products whenever possible.
- Minimizing energy usage by carefully monitoring AC and heating usage.
Living arrangements aside, it can also be helpful to carry this effort over to your mode of transportation, as well. Look for eco-friendly alternatives like using rideshare apps, bicycling, or walking wherever possible. When you do have to drive a car, try implementing habits to make your commute more green, like keeping idling to a minimum.
Practices like these not only reduce carbon emissions but also improve your gas mileage. You may even want to consider getting a plug-in electric car to help reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing your personal vehicle. There are tax credit options for qualified vehicles that can save you as much as $7,500 off of the cost of the car if you go that route.
Whether you invest in an electric car, purchase a philodendron for your bedroom, or simply switch out some lightbulbs, looking for ways to keep your lifestyle sustainable is a worthy endeavor in the wake of a divorce. This isn’t just a distraction; it serves as a way to restore meaning and purpose into your efforts after a period of life that can often feel destructive and chaotic.
Sustaining Yourself Through Sustainability
Another classic eco-friendly behavior to consider is looking for local, sustainable businesses to patronize. Whether you’re scouring an area you’ve lived in for years or exploring a new hometown, it’s important to try to find eco-conscious businesses that you can support rather than simply heading to the nearest Walmart to stock your new home.
Look for companies that practice corporate social responsibility and that consider the triple bottom line — that they care about profits within an environmental and social context.
This search for sustainable enterprises doesn’t just allow you to have a positive impact on your local economy; it also helps you get face to face with local business owners and customers that share your values. The need to get out of the house and rubbing shoulders with others with whom you share similar interests can serve as the perfect catalyst to maintain a social presence and can preserve you from slipping into the infamous post-divorce option of holing yourself up at home in order to avoid contact with other human beings.
There are many ways to live an eco-friendly life, even in the discouraging aftermath of a divorce. In fact, there are few times in life that the pursuit of sustainability can be more rewarding.
Caring about how you live your life, whether it’s through your vehicle, living space, or local spending habits, can be a wonderful way to find a new passion and purpose. It can be a beautiful reminder that life is bigger than any one event or calamity, no matter how devastating it may feel in the moment.
Hope isn’t far off. A little effort to live an eco-friendly lifestyle to cope with divorce can be one of the best ways to rediscover a sense of purpose and begin to move forward once again.