Whether you were married for decades or months, did or did not have children, parted amicably or not, divorce hurts. The process and its after-effects will undoubtedly bring up a flood of difficult emotions at different times. You may at times feel deep sadness over the separation, anger or resentment toward your ex, and even confusion or overwhelm about how you got here and what to do next.
Please know that you’re not alone. These challenging feelings come up for everyone from time to time, and especially for those who are enduring or recovering from a divorce. Still,there are some practical steps you can take to give yourself the compassion and care that you deserve.
Give yourself time to grieve
No matter the circumstances of your divorce, it is still a loss. The loss of the future you imagined together, the loss of the partnership and the loss of familiarity can all bring up feelings of grief. Just like after the death of a loved one, you will need to give yourself time to grieve the death of your marriage. Holding space for your sorrow can be challenging, so you may find it helpful to seek out a therapist or spiritual guide to support you during this season of grief.
Allow yourself the opportunity to dream for the future
When your world turns upside-down and everything feels unsteady, it can be hard to imagine a bright future for ourselves. Yet, there is a future for you, and you do have the power to create a beautiful future for yourself. As you come up from the fog of grief, allow yourself the opportunity to imagine how you would like your life to be. Where would you live? What would you do for work? How do you like to spend your free time? This is a chance to experience a kind of rebirth in how you show up in the world. Let yourself delight in the infinite possibilities!
Focus on the basics
If you still feel too emotionally raw to make big plans for the future, that’s okay. The best place to start is with the basics: nutrition, sleep, movement, nature and friends. Give yourself a chance to slow down and pay attention to how you nourish yourself. Drink water and eat nutritious foods so you can feel clear and strong throughout the day.
Remember the value of proper rest. It is when we sleep that we do the most healing, so be kind to yourself on those days that you don’t feel so energized. Naps can be delightful!
Take the time to move your body, even in small ways. Walks in nature are a double duty mood boost. Enjoying the sounds and sights of the natural world as you oxygenate your inner world can leave you feeling much lighter, positive and peaceful.
Remember, too, that you are not alone. Going through a divorce can leave us feeling isolated, which will create the ideal environment for painful emotions to arise. Reaching out to a friend or family member can be so beneficial. Even a shared cup of tea or gentle hug can go a long way in calming our hearts.
No matter what emotions come up for you during or after your divorce, remember: This is temporary. You will get through this, and you never know what joys lie in the present moment and await you in your future!