When You have a Serious Case of the Divorce Blues
You already know what you need to do. Your friends have encouraged you. You’ve tried to encourage yourself, but still nothing. It’s not enough. You let the negative thoughts and excuses conquer your emotional girl-brain, and you give up on yourself. The time to change is now, not when work slows down or the kids grow up and move out. Not even after you finish that gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Put down the spoon, girl.
With that said, changing your attitude doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not as easy for some as it is for others. It’s not a snap-your-fingers and you’re happy kind of thing.
So what happens when your positive self-talk just doesn’t do the trick?
You try to change your mindset. You tell yourself “I can do this!” and you decide the glass really is half full, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
The feeling of overwhelm and defeat is overcoming your good intentions to be positive and you feel powerless.
Overcoming Divorce Blues
When the positive pep talks don’t work, it’s time to try something different. Try some of these approaches to chase those divorce blues away.
Find the Truth
If you told yourself you will change the way you feel about something, you have to mean it! For example, if you say “I’m going to be more confident in my own skin”, you won’t get anywhere just saying that to yourself. You have to find things you genuinely love about your body. Then, when you start to struggle, you can identify the things you love to get yourself back on the right track.
Here’s another example: “I’m going to be a better friend and dedicate more energy to my relationships.” Identify the ways you are a good friend and continue doing those. Also look at where you could make some improvements. Maybe you need to be better about calling. Or follow-through. Find one thing you’ll start doing based on what you know to be true.
Make a Difference
While we all want to be happy, what most of us are ultimately looking for is a life that’s fulfilling. We like the feeling of solving problems, overcoming challenges, and helping others. This is your chance to be passionate, purposeful, and impactful. Make a difference in the world. You don’t have to run for President (although we could use more great women leaders!). You can make a difference by connecting with and doing things for the people around you. Lots of places need volunteers, so donate your time to a worthy cause you connect with. Find ways to improve your own community – and go do them. One of the most effective ways of getting out of your own head is to focus on someone else.
Don’t Let the Voices Overtake You
The voices of fear and judgment can be loud and harsh. That doesn’t mean they’re right. In fact, most of the time they’re the voices of other people and don’t have anything helpful to say. How do you feel when you hear those things? Do they make you smile and want to take on the world? If not, they’re not helpful. When you hear them, acknowledge they’re there – and then make the choice to focus on something else so you don’t get hijacked into their negative spiral.
Simple. Let yourself become immersed in something you enjoy to bring you back to your happy place. Have a palette cleanser by watching a funny movie, read an uplifting book, watch some silly YouTube clips. It’s always good to listen to Beyonce, and you might throw in some dancing. It changes your brain for the better.
Make sure to do the things that feel restorative. Eating healthy, working out, and getting enough sleep are an important start. How about a walk in nature? Spending time with friends? A bubble bath? Anything that helps you feel cared for and more like yourself is important. You are worth it.
Make a Plan
This might be the most important step of all. Breakdowns, slips, feeling defeated – it happens to the best of us. The best defense is a back-up plan. You’ve come so far creating this new mindset and action plan to a happier life! Plan for potential obstacles so you know what to do to overcome them when they do show up. That way you’ll never be caught off guard.
When You Need More Help
Sometimes we can’t address the divorce blues ourselves. We need help. There are countless qualified therapists, counselors, priests, ministers, and others in healing professions who can help. If you’ve tried on your own for several months but are still feeling down, particularly if you’re having difficulty functioning in your daily life, please consider getting professional help. Psychology Today has a therapist finder tool, and you can also contact your insurance company to see who is covered.
You deserve to be happy, healthy, and ready to embrace your next chapter. It WILL get better. Let us know what’s worked for you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or share with our community on Facebook. We can all be here for each other.