Like most people, when you got married you believed it was going to last forever. You knew s/he was “the one” and you’d live happily ever after. But that didn’t happen. Now you are getting a divorce and can’t quite seem to figure out how to move on. Why is it so hard to let go? Well, there’s a lot to move on from when a marriage ends. You aren’t just losing your significant other, oftentimes you are saying goodbye to your best friend. You’re also saying goodbye to your sense of identity because now you are no longer someone’s husband or wife. If you have kids, you’re maybe losing time spent with your children. Chances are you’ve lost some friends along the way, a house, shared assets, etc. You get the idea. It’s a lot to let go of.
And on top of that, you have some feelings to sort out. Like anger towards your ex-spouse for cheating or sadness that she just doesn’t love you anymore or shame from having a failed marriage. It’s no wonder many people find it hard to let go after divorce.
So, how do you let go and heal? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Time will heal all wounds” and while time in itself may help to ease some of the pain, what’s most important is how you spend your time. When it’s difficult for you to let go, here are 7 things you can do to move towards health and happiness.
- Spend some time in a state of self-reflection – ask yourself what you are holding onto and what’s preventing you from moving forward.
- Be with friends and family – talk it out and share your feelings with those who will listen.
- Volunteer your time – it helps to ward off depression and gives you a sense of purpose.
- Spend time in nature – fresh air can help clear your mind and leave you feeling grounded.
- Practice mindfulness – it helps to relieve stress and can put space between you and your thoughts and feelings.
- Focus on a hobby – spend time doing something creative or pleasurable to take your mind off stress.
- Exercise – physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which makes you feel good, it makes you feel confident and improves your mood.
As Barbara de Angelis says, “No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change”. Life might knock you down, but it’s up to you to pick yourself back up again. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need some helping picking up the pieces. That’s what we’re here for.
Christine Holmberg, LMFT