Going through a divorce can be one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to go through. You’ve been with a partner you thought you would be with for the rest of your life, and now you’ve got to figure out what you want your life to look like moving forward.
You may be feeling frustrated, disappointed, anxious about your future, and are likely grieving the loss of what you hoped to create together. Practicing gratitude may seem like something that’s out of reach right now, and that’s understandable. But gratitude is a wonderful way of grounding yourself and reminding yourself that you’re still here, despite what you’ve been through, and that there are better days ahead.
Here are seven simple ways you can practice gratitude today:
Keep A Gratitude Journal
You may not have kept a journal since you were a child, but writing things down can really help. At the start or end of each day, aim to write down 3-10 things you feel grateful for. You could write about a small act of kindness you witnessed during the day, a particularly beautiful ray of sunlight or a moment of indulgence as you enjoyed a delicious meal. When times are bleak, simply being grateful for the roof over your head can be enough. This simple practice can help you start to be present and notice the little things that make life beautiful.
Meditate On Gratitude
Meditation is extremely beneficial for your mental health, regardless of your current situation. Meditation provides a rare opportunity to clear the mind, sit in silence and just exist with nowhere to be and no jobs to do. Try to set aside ten minutes each day to decompress, clear a safe space and breathe deeply. Clearing your mind is often too difficult, so look over your gratitude journal and think about the things you’ve written down. If you need more guidance, you can find guided gratitude meditations on YouTube to talk you through it.
Get In Touch With Your Loved Ones
When we’re going through something like divorce, it’s easy to isolate ourselves from the outside world, especially if we have some family members who may judge us for the divorce. But find those people in your life you can connect with and reach out to them regularly
Not only can loved ones offer valuable support and advice during a divorce, but they can also remind you that they are a constant element of your life. If you tend to forget to call or text friends and family, why not set a time each week and have a weekly catch-up? This routine can help foster a sense of stability and safety, and it’ll give you something to look forward to.
Yoga is good for the mind and the body. Yoga isn’t about attaining a certain level of body type – it’s about strengthening your body in a way that feels good. It’s about stretching, breathing deeply and feeling grounded in yourself. Yoga is a meditative process and can be a great alternative to meditation if you find it difficult to sit still. Don’t be afraid to make your yoga practice a self-care ritual; you can do yoga on your bed in your PJs, but there’s nothing like a quality pair of activewear leggings to make you feel like a million bucks.
Volunteer Or Donate To Charity
In the time following a divorce, it can feel like you have the worst luck in the world. And while it’s not a competition, there will be others who are struggling in a way that can put your own turmoil into perspective. There are many amazing organizations to donate your time or money to, from those who focus on homelessness and women’s education to reproductive health and sanitation in the developing world. Spending some time giving your time or money to charity, or simply to your child’s school, can help you stop thinking inwardly.
Practice Self-Care Daily, Weekly, And Monthly
For many of us, our quality of self-care reflects our mental health. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the house red-carpet-ready each day—self-care means something different to everyone—but you should take note of what makes you feel human and practice those things often.
This may mean ensuring your home is clean before you settle down for the evening, investing in a cleaner to come once a week (yes, you have permission to do that!), getting your hair blow-dried once a month, or getting a manicure regularly. Try to have a checklist of self-care things you try to do daily, weekly, and monthly to prioritize you. When you do these things, make sure you thank yourself for them and note them in your gratitude journal.
Write One “Thank You Note” A Day
This simple practice may involve leaving a note to thank a colleague, saying thank you aloud when someone goes out of their way to give you a coffee, or texting a friend to thank them for listening to you on the phone the other day. These notes don’t have to be deep and can even be to yourself or an inanimate object (“thank you car for getting me from A to B”), but will help you see all the things you have to be grateful for.
Gratitude might not come easily at first, but it’s worth it
When you feel like life has done a number on you, it’s easy to think you have nothing to be grateful for. But you always do. Everyone on this planet has something they take for granted. By living mindfully of all the good things in your life, you can remind yourself how good you have it and that things will get better. Gratitude is a small way of taking control of your mindset, and while it can be easier said than done, it’s always worth the hard work.