Divorce can feel devastating or liberating for women, but it’s never easy. You put your heart and soul into the relationship. You hoped you would be happy, and get old together, but now you are alone.
You may be questioning yourself and feel depleted. Although difficult, moving on can be rejuvenating and empowering if you take the matters into your own hands and focus on recovery and your wellbeing.
There are four areas on which you can work to help you transition through the divorce with more ease.
1. Develop and Nurture Your Social Support
Divorce is one of the major life events that creates enormous stress. You are going through difficult times, and social support can be essential to help you get through this. You can nurture your old relationships and explore new avenues where you can create friendships and valuable connections. There are different ways in which you can do it, and here are just a few:
Reconnect with your friends and make new friends. During your marriage, you might have lost touch with your friends. As already mentioned, you put your “heart and soul” into the marriage. This may be hard, but you will soon rediscover the joys of hanging out with your friends like the good old days. Make phone calls, create a girl’s night out or accept an invitation even if you don’t feel like doing it. Going out will help you take your mind off the struggles you are going through.
Join different meet-up groups. There is a group for just about anything out there. If you are into gardening, hiking, mountain biking, socializing, wine-tasting, crocheting or pugs, you can find a meetup for your specific interest. You can meet interesting people and form new friendships with people that have the same interests as you do. In addition to creating connections, you will benefit from doing what you enjoy.
Join a support group. There are various support groups that can be helpful as well. You can find groups that pertain to all divorce issues, or other specific issues. You can find a support group in your local spiritual organization, such as church, temple, etc.
2. Focus on Self-Care
Self-care is challenging for women. You are raised to be selfless and kind to others. This is wonderful, but sometimes we women mistake selflessness for neglecting ourselves and prioritizing everything else. Now is the time when you can prioritize your wellbeing along with all other obligations. If you are not taken care of, those other priorities, such as children, work or your home, will be neglected if you fall ill. Below are just some ideas that may work for you.
Get into a routine of meditation. It can be very powerful. There is a lot of research reporting on the benefits of meditation. It’s been shown effective for various issues, from chronic pain to depression, anxiety, ADD, etc. It’s natural that you may be experiencing some depression or anxiety. Besides helping with recovery, meditation can be helpful in providing clarity and self-discovery in identifying your goals. From this place you can create intents and plans that will lead you in the direction in which you want to go in life.
There are numerous studies that show working out is beneficial for our overall physical and psychological health. You have probably experienced how great it feels after a workout. It may be hard to get motivated at times, but if you can do it right after waking up, you can create a routine and be “addicted” to it. I can support that addiction.
Yoga is an amazing routine that needs to be experienced to understand its profound effects. It is so beneficial in many different ways, but it’s completely different from regular exercise. It can provide a profound sense of wellbeing and feeling of being taken care of. Be sure to find a teacher you feel comfortable with and will help you grow your yoga skills at your own pace. Yoga is a personal process, and you want someone with compassion to be your yoga teacher. It can be very transformative process.
Eating well can be difficult when you are feeling down. You may want to reach for fried or sweet, processed foods. After all, our grandma comforted us with those foods when we were feeling down, and our brain may be depleted from some chemicals after a divorce. But, as those foods may provide temporary relief, in the long term they may create more havoc than help if we overindulge. Thus it’s important to keep your eating balanced. Make sure you surround yourself with a variety of good quality foods so you don’t wind up eating all the sugary or fried foods.
If you are really having a hard time functioning due to depression or anxiety brought up by the divorce, it may be wise to consult a therapist. There are many therapists that are well-qualified, but it’s important that you can connect with the person. Group therapy focusing on divorce recovery may be helpful as well, but if you are too vulnerable or raw, you may want to start with individual therapy.
3. Focus on Things That Were Put on the Back Burner During Your Marriage
What about your hobbies or career? During all these years, you may have been so consumed with family and marriage that you might have forgotten your old passions. Your career, hobbies, and activities may have been neglected.
Regain that spark and take your mind of divorce issues by giving extra in your career, by signing up for those riding lessons or cooking classes you always wanted to take but never had the time. How about writing? Your professors were raving about your essays or poetry. Maybe you can go back to it and find your voice though it. Maybe you can make extra money by writing about topics you are passionate about.
4. Try Something Completely Daring and New
Paragliding? Backpacking? Mountain biking? Doing exciting new activities has various benefits. You can meet new people, and it stimulates our brain. It provides new focus and helps you take your mind from gloomy topics, such as your divorce.
It’s understandable that not all of the above mentioned things will appeal to you. You may choose one or two to start. Any break from your routine and doing something healing for yourself will help you move on in life. When you have numerous things going on in your life, the difficulty of divorce loses its power to bring you down. You are able to endure and find new meaning that propels you towards your future.