It’s been a while since you got divorced, and you’re still grieving. All the grief you’ve been experiencing is making you feel guilty, even though you shouldn’t feel bad for expressing your emotions. You just survived one of the most difficult processes you will ever have to go through, and you need to take time to release all of your sadness. Most people going through the rollercoaster of emotions that is a divorce are susceptible to situational depression as part of the normal grieving process.
Situational depression that isn’t dealt with appropriately can linger around for an extended period of time. Don’t let this happen to you because then your life will be put on hold. Setting aside a few months to piece your life back together after a divorce is normal and necessary, but letting years of your life go by without the motivation to do anything isn’t okay. Here are some tips to cope with post-divorce depression.
Write a Letter to Yourself
Psychologists recommend hand-writing a goodbye letter after a divorce—not to your former spouse, but to yourself. This letter will serve as an official goodbye to your marriage, and it doesn’t have to be too sad. When writing this goodbye letter, take the liberty of writing it in a 50/50 manner; half of it can be you releasing your remaining sadness, the other half of it can be taking a light-hearted spin, which can feel cathartic. This is one of the last steps you will have to take before moving forward with your life, so relish in the process. Say goodbye to everything that you are leaving behind in this divorce, such as your former spouse, other connections you have lost as a result of your divorce, your sadness, your anxieties, old activities that you used to do with your former spouse, old habits, and anything else that you are moving forward from.
Writing a goodbye letter takes courage because you are confronting your losses, but the reward is knowing exactly what you have to move on from so that you no longer find yourself in a depressed state.
Get More Human Interaction
One of the toughest parts of a divorce is having to get over losing your partner’s touch. You’ll have to move on from the hugs, kisses, and handholding, but it’s doable. You don’t need romantic affection; you can become the person who hugs their friends every time they see each other. Even getting a manicure, a professional massage, or having deep conversations with your friends helps you get your dose of human interaction. Believe it or not, hugging yourself has the same effect as hugging someone else. Relying on close friends (and most importantly, relying on yourself) will help you not be dependent on anyone else again for your happiness.
Pay Attention to the Conversation You’re Having with Yourself
Although you need to eventually put yourself out there and work on not isolating yourself, it’s important to also spend time internally talking to yourself. Your internal monologues have already put you down enough, now take the time to start name-calling. No, this does not mean to call your former spouse names. Name-calling in this sense can be calling yourself positive, uplifting names. Pay attention to the ways you speak to yourself, as this will impact your self-image and mood.
Moving on from a divorce is emotionally, financially, and mentally taxing. Take things slowly, but don’t spend all your precious time feeling sad. As the months go by, you will find it easier to get back on track with your life and to love yourself again.