Divorce After 50: How to Kick Your Loneliness to the Curb
When you are recovering from divorce after a long-term marriage, loneliness 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. Look at these 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. ”
Being Alone is Not 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 as 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?
How to Kick your Divorce Loneliness to the Curb
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!
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? 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.
Identify What Brings out Your Best
Ask yourself: Who am I when I am the happiest? 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 will feel better and being happy is worth it.
Identify How to Take Action for Yourself
Ask yourself: What can I do right now to summon that amazing part of me?
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 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. Understand that spending quality time by yourself and in a life that is rich with ideas and hobbies and things that excite and inspire can heal you. It has absolutely nothing to do with having a partner.
Being open to all the wonderful things this word 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.
How do you combat loneliness after divorce? Is the sense of loneliness different now than it was when you were married? How have you taken action against loneliness for yourself? Please share in the comments.
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce coach, whose website “Surviving Your Split” helps readers navigate their divorce with less stress and drama, so they can move on with their lives. For your Free Divorce Warrior Survival Kit, stop by Surviving Your Split or drop Martha a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit her on Facebook.