Moving on after the breakup of a long-term relationship with a significant other is very difficult, and it requires a healing and recovery period. Dealing with a divorce can be disorienting, confusing, and lonely, but during this time, it’s important to remember that your primary goal should be letting go and moving on. As sad as it may be to let go of a relationship, it’s a necessary part of the process if you want to lead a healthy and full life in the future.
1. You Will Experience a Full Spectrum of Emotions
Although we may not always think of it as such, a breakup is a loss, and it’s normal to experience a wide array of changing feelings as you come to terms with that loss. After a divorce, you can expect to experience:
- Frustration and exhaustion
- Anger and confusion
- Grief and sadness
- Resentment and relief
It’s important that you give yourself time and permission to mourn and grieve the loss of your relationship, your friend, and the life and dreams you shared together. As with any loss, overcoming grief and pain is a process, and you can’t expect to wake up one morning and have everything be back to normal.
2. Support from Others Is Integral
Just like you sometimes need help carrying in groceries when you have a full carload, you also need emotional support when you’ve got too much on your plate. Talk to your friends, family, and loved ones about how you’re feeling and coping, spend time doing fun things together, and don’t be afraid to get out and meet new friends. If you need a little more help, seek out a support group or talk to a therapist who can help you manage your feelings in a healthy and productive way.
3. Recognize the Difference Between Healthy Sadness and Depression
It’s entirely normal to feel sad and lonely after a breakup, and you can expect to experience changes in your activity level, eating habits, sleep patterns, and moods. What’s not normal, however, is for the grief you feel to persist without getting better. If that’s the case, be on the lookout for other symptoms of depression, which include:
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness and feeling no hope for the future
- Inability to feel pleasure from activities you once enjoyed
- Loss of appetite or binge eating, and weight loss or gain
- Consistently decreased energy levels
- Feelings of extreme sadness that affect all aspects of your life
4. Learn How to Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself after a divorce or breakup is no different from caring for yourself when you’re sick. Take some time off work if necessary or lighten your workload if you can, take the time to rest and relax, stay active, eat right, take time to do the things you love, pursue new hobbies and interests, and don’t try to make any important decisions.
5. Use This Opportunity to Learn More About Yourself
The end of a long-term partnership provides an excellent opportunity to get to know yourself again. Give yourself time to be alone and single, and rediscover the person you were before you got into the relationship. This can mean taking up old hobbies, reconnecting with old friends, and taking a look at what makes you the person you are.
One of the best parts of having friends and family is that you can count on them when you need help, so don’t be afraid to reach out during this time. Focus your energy on processing the loss you’ve experienced and coping with the feelings you’re having, and allow yourself to begin a new chapter in your life.
Finding a Littleton area therapist to help throughout the healing process would be one. Remember, divorce affects not only you, but everyone around you. If you can’t cope, the people around you are affected as well. Dr. Lazarus, a divorce psychologist in Littleton offers proven techniques such as animal assisted therapy to help you or your family members through the divorce process.