Winter: it’s drab and cold. The lights and color from the holidays fade and we have months of darker days and harsher weather with very little to look forward to until spring. I guess that’s why there’s a song about the bleak midwinter. This is also the time many people decide to start afresh with resolutions, like a divorce. Working through these feelings, especially with the limited social interaction brought on by the pandemic, is daunting. Here are three ways to begin anew.
Presented with such a change, you might feel like someone took your inflating balloon and let all of the air out before you even knew it was out of your hand. If you are feeling devastated, immediately build a support group. Support is key. Protect yourself by not telling everyone at first. Find those who will be there for you when you need to sob or rage, but don’t tell anyone who might spill all the tea to the next individual. It’s also not entirely productive to confide in someone who will go into all the reasons why they never liked your ex and then proceed to discuss all their flaws. It might feel good, but later this can grow toxic and make growth difficult in your own life. Validate your feelings, but don’t generate anything more toxic than what you might already be experiencing.
Thought of people who will lift you up? Check. Now the next big thing is to exercise and eat well. Divorce is an instant appetite suppressant. Losing some weight might feel good at first, but it isn’t healthy weight loss. Start filling your body with good fuel and find an exercise you enjoy to build your strength and confidence while you release those endorphins (feel good chemicals). Both of these activities will build you up in confidence and owning your self-worth while actually making you feel good emotionally and physically.
One of the final things to get you on the road to recovery, and through all of this chilly weather, is to spend time alone. Yes. Why? It’s important you rediscover your identity. Remember the things that brought you pleasure: jogging, reading, crafting, sporting. Then, do all the things. Build into yourself by taking the time to love yourself and do the things you enjoy. Alone time is not in short supply right now, either. With the need to stay away from crowds or groups, spending time developing things you gave up or have begun to explore should be a little easier. Monitor your mental health, though. Too much time in isolation can hurt your growth. Depression is a common issue after a divorce. Depression and isolation because of the pandemic can lead to more severe issues. Your alone time needs to be nurturing and productive, not draining and isolating. Check in regularly with your support group.
Remember that divorce is painful and difficult, but that you are strong. Seek help when necessary, and call our offices if you have any legal questions. It’s about to get better. We’re here to help.