The holiday season can be especially lonely if you are going through a recent break-up or divorce. Break-ups and divorce sometimes break our hearts and leave us feeling depressed or lonely. An unexpected or sudden break-up or divorce can be an end to our hopes and dreams for a future with our loved one. We might find ourselves having a difficult time trusting again or finding the motivation to move on with our lives. Here are some pointers on how to navigate this difficult time to get your life back on track.
- Accept the loss for what it is: Loss is painful. The first step to moving on is to accept that the relationship is over. Once we recognise that it is over, we can stop analysing, why? What if?
- Accept that it might be a difficult holiday season: Accept that this holiday season might be painful because you are not able to celebrate it with the person that you lost. It might also be painful to see other happy couples and families together during this period. Try to stay present and focus on what you do have, and not on what you don’t have. Focus on what your holiday wants, and needs are this season.
- Be patient with your emotions: It is natural to grieve after a break-up or a divorce. Sometimes we are mourning the loss of mutual friends, finances and a future with the other person. During this period of grief, allow yourself some time to feel your feelings. If your emotions become overwhelming and consuming, reach out to a professional in the mental health field.
- Reconnect with loved ones: Reach out to friends and family who have been supportive and warm to you in the past. Social support is a great way to reconnect with yourself and others, helping to reduce loneliness.
- Focus on your desires and goals: Take the break-up as an opportunity to discover who you are and what you would like to do with your life. Set some goals and work towards them daily.
- Exercise: Physical activity releases stress and builds confidence. Often times after a break-up or divorce our self-esteem drops. Exercise helps us to feel healthy and fit as well as stimulates our mind and increases focus.
- Appreciate your journey: Appreciate the good times you had with your partner and the love that you once shared. It may seem like you will never find someone to love during this period of loss. On the contrary, you can use this experience to decide who you are and what you would like in your next partner.
- Rediscover who you are: A break-up or divorce can give you the opportunity to reflect on your own vulnerabilities and strengths. Who are you, where are you going and what have you learned from this experience. It can be helpful during this period to hire a psychologist to help you on your path to self-evolution.
- Do something nice for yourself every day: Everyday find 10-15 minutes to do something kind for yourself. It can be taking a nice bath, doing yoga, meditating, or reading a book. Make sure that you find the time for self-care.
- Self-compassion: After a break-up or divorce it can be easy to place blame on yourself or the other person. Blame does not heal or solve any problems. Be compassionate towards yourself and speak to yourself without judgement.
Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment. Get in touch with Dr Borschel: firstname.lastname@example.org