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What Covid Is Teaching Me About Divorce Recovery

By Martha Bodyfelt April 01, 2022 Family

I’m writing to you three weeks into coming down with Covid, and although I’m getting better day by day, I’m still not myself. 

The coughing won’t stop.

Despite a good night’s sleep, I’m still pretty tired most of the day. And there’s still this annoying nose congestion that is making it hard to smell all the great things I usually take for granted.

But dealing with someone I thought I’d adequately prepared for with masks and vaccinations has got me thinking about the work I do with women just like you. 

So for this week, I want to share with you what Covid is teaching me about divorce recovery after 50… and what I plan to incorporate into my own clients’ divorce recovery plan

Lesson #1: If Things Aren’t Working, You Need a Change

You may think you’re doing everything right after 50, but bad stuff still happens. That’s a sign that something needs to change. 

Despite the vaccinations and masks and avoiding places with lots of people, I still got Covid, and recovering from it means that I’ve had to make some changes in my life in order to heal. 

  • I had to slow down to rest. 
  • I had to reschedule a lot of appointments and social functions – even with my divorced clients.
  • I had to be more selective of how I spend my time. 

My life needed to change in order to move ahead… past this icky Covid stuff. In that way, getting out of your divorce rut after 50 is very similar to Covid recovery. 

You may “think” you’re doing everything right in order to move on. You are probably “checking all the boxes” in your life and following divorce advice, but you’re still feeling stuck and lonely, like life is passing you by.

Finding more boxes to check won’t get you unstuck after midlife divorce. If what you’re doing is not working for you, it’s time to change it. 

Lesson #2: You May Need a Helping Hand to Recover

I found out that going about my business as usual wasn’t going to cut it to recover. I needed to change what I was doing to recover from Covid as quickly as possible.

So I had to block out most of the day to sleep. 

I had to cancel a few online things I could have muscled through, but a sick Martha would not have benefited anyone.

I too had to exercise the boundaries I’ve been preaching about to clients. Because I knew that if I tried to soldier on, I’d only prolong feeling bad.

So, what does that mean in terms of divorce recovery after 50? 

You have permission to change your schedule when you need to make changes. It’s necessary to change your behavior when you need things to be different.

You can outsource things. So, if you’ve been divorced for a while, even if you’re over 50, and seem to be stuck, just waiting won’t change how you feel. 

But getting outside help will. And paying extra to feel better and focusing on yourself is the investment you cannot afford to not make. 

Lesson #3: You Have to Grab the Opportunity

When I got this stupid thing, I thought that I’d have the sniffles for two days, and I’d be back in fine fighting form. Ha! 

I was double-vaxxed and healthy. So I thought I’d be over Covid quickly. But here I am, well after I first tested positive, and I’m still navigating the incessant coughs. The constant fatigue. The feeling of malaise. 

Here’s what I am learning from it. 

I have to use this time to slow down, rest, and take better care of myself, giving myself time and compassion but being proactive in taking care of myself.

Sound familiar? 

Much like an unexpected illness, recovering after divorce at 50 is going to take time. But it’s also going to be your wake-up call. 

To put yourself first. 

To make yourself a priority. 

And to examine some of the patterns that no longer serve you. 

Even if you’ve evaded Covid, or have recovered from it, I’d invite you to treat this message as your wake-up call.

Have you gotten Covid? What insight did it give you? Are you recovering from divorce and Covid? What can you learn from handling them at the same time?

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The Author

Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce recovery coach who helps professional divorced women over 50 overcome their divorce loneliness and break free from the patterns keeping them stuck so they can feel fulfilled, have more fun, and live fearlessly. To find out what's *really* keeping you stuck after divorce, take the 30-second quiz.

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