When you are recovering from divorce after a long-term marriage, feeling lonely is definitely an obstacle that keeps you from moving on. We get stuck in this mindset because it makes us feel like we have nobody in the world. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take a look at the mindful strategies that can help you kick your loneliness to the curb as you start this new chapter in your life.
Being alone does not mean being lonely.
When we are by ourselves after divorce, we make a false correlation in our minds. We think that being alone is bad. We can’t stand the silence, we feel weird sleeping in a bed alone, and we are uneasy saying “I” instead of “we. ‘’
But why is being alone negative?
You are now given the opportunity to heal and start over on your terms—things that would be impossible to do if you were still in an unhealthy marriage.
What we seem to forget is that even when we are with someone, we can still be lonely. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, being in a house with a partner in a marriage that is no longer healthy and still feeling alone is much more damaging than being by yourself in a house and having the space to heal.
See the difference?
Loneliness is just independence and liberation waiting for a spark of hope.
Many of us tend to view loneliness and a solitary confinement, but that not’s true.
Yes, you may feel like there is nobody to call or to be intimate with. And as you heal, you may feel self-conscious reaching out to friends and family members because you don’t want to appear like a burden. Feeling like you can’t reach out although you feel awful only doubles that awful feeling.
But, what if, instead, you turned that solitude into something new?
Being by yourself gives you the opportunity to start doing things that you never thought you could do before. Instead of staying at home, you now have an opportunity to channel that energy into attending that sculpture class, joining that book club, or planning that trip to the mountains. There is nobody to stop you or judge you. Take advantage of it!
How to Kick your Divorce Loneliness to the Curb
If you feel lonely but are unsure how to overcome those feelings, follow these easy steps!
Ask yourself: When do I feel lonely? Are there certain events that trigger this emotion for me?
Need some help? Take a look at my examples below!
I feel lonely whenever I see a little old couple holding hands walking in the park. I feel like that won’t be me.
Ask yourself: Who am I when I am the most happy? When am I at my best?
I feel really happy when I am around my dogs. There is a soft spot in my heart for rescue dogs and I have always wanted to volunteer there.
All my worries seem to disappear when I am working hard in yoga class. I love how it makes me feel and how it forces me to focus on breathing and listening to my body. At the end of the class, I always feel relieved and ready to take on the world.
Discovering what brings out the best in you and what makes you happy doesn’t have to cost money. It does, however, mean that you will have to be introspective and honest with yourself. It can be hard to dig deep, but I promise you that it is worth it because you feeling better and being happy is worth it.
Ask Yourself: What can I do right now to summon that amazing part of me? That part that will help me through those periods of loneliness?
The next time I see another Facebook picture of an engagement ring, I am going to look up volunteering opportunities at the local animal shelter instead. My time and energy are better served helping those in need, and who on earth can feel lonely while they are taking care of pups and kitties who need a good home?
The house feels so empty and I am starting to feel alone. But I remember there’s that new museum exhibit I’ve been wanting to see. Why don’t I check the hours and go tomorrow?
See how the exercise works?
Recognize that you deserve to be happy and understand that spending quality time by yourself and in a life that is rich with ideas and hobbies and things that excite and inspire you—and has absolutely nothing to do with having a partner—can heal you. Being open to all the wonderful things this world can offer—and fully acknowledging that you are in this world to explore them—is the antidote to loneliness. When you begin the love story with yourself, you always have someone at your side.
Martha Bodyfelt is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach® whose website “Surviving Your Split” helps readers navigate their divorce with less guilt and stress, so they can move on with their lives. For your Free Divorce Goddess Recovery Kit, stop by http://survivingyoursplit.com/ or drop Martha a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talking with a licensed therapist or counselor, like the ones at Talkspace may also help you figure out your next steps.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Talkspace which means that if you use their service I will receive a small affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.