Divorce can knock your spirits down to a low point where you feel nothing except depression and loneliness.Overcoming depression after divorce might not be easy.If you thought your romantic life was settled, only to find yourself back out on the dating scene, how do you maintain your confidence after divorce?
Life after divorce for women can be difficult.Few things can hurt your faith in yourself like the ending of a marriage. Even if the split was amicable, the sense of failure can haunt you and make you depressed, and if things ended badly you may be nursing some serious emotional wounds which lead to depression. It’s hard to feel confident after a breakup, especially if you’re feeling older and less attractive than you did the last time you were single. Getting back out there in search of a new partner can take considerable courage.
How are you coping with Depression?
If your ex-partner ignored you or put you down, you’re probably feeling pretty low. You may want to try some of the self-compassion exercises in Soften, Allow, Soothe. If things were really messy, you might also try finding a sympathetic therapist to talk to.
Empirically speaking, time can be a healer for many of us. In a 2011 study of 100 women divorced within the past year, Indian psychologist Bharti Sharma found that all of the women suffered depression after their divorce—especially the older participants, aged 30 to 40—but all of them reported better mental health as time passed. And a Utah study published in Health Care for Women International in 2002 found that 75 percent of the 95 women interviewed felt their lives had improved in the 10 years since their marriage had ended, though men and women are likely to feel pretty raw if the divorce is recent.
Keep your friends close
Loss of a marriage can involve loss of a community, or at least a divided social group. Holding on to positive connections is important for staying psychologically healthy. In 2007, a report from Ohio in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage found that keeping a network of friends helped promote positive adjustment, while specific close friendships were best for buffering against maladjustment—to stop you from going off the rails.
Friends, though, may feel divided loyalties, which—since most people meet partners through friends—can be awkward when you’re looking for someone new. It may be best, post divorce, to view your friends as emotional support and to move outside your social circle to find a new romantic prospect.
Meditation: Mindful Breathing
Meditation is very helpful in this situation.
- Get yourself somewhere physically comfortable—preferably sitting up, so that you don’t fall asleep. Close your eyes and relax.
- Let yourself become aware of the sensations in your body—the air on your skin, the seat under you, your feet in your shoes. Thoughts will drift in and out of your mind; don’t worry about that. Just let them come and go, and keep returning your attention to your sensations.
- Move your focus to the sensation of your breath. Feel the rhythm of it going in and out. Don’t try to speed it up or slow it down; let it happen comfortably.
- Focus on a particular place in your body where you feel your breath most directly. Many people like to focus on the nose, feeling the place where the air enters and leaves their body, but if you prefer to concentrate on your throat, stomach, or chest, go with what pleases you at that particular moment.
This is an excellent meditation for overcoming depression after divorce, and it’s also perfect for overcoming depression. If strong feelings arise, let them happen: you may find that the chance to observe them in a safe setting makes them much easier to deal with.
Take It Positively and Learn From Experience
One thing divorce certainly can teach you is what you don’t want in a relationship. A 2004 study by Debora Schneller and Joyce Arditti at Virginia Tech found that most divorcees were clear that a new relationship should have qualities that were missing in their marriage,particularly greater equality, more expressive communication, and better conflict resolution. They were more worried about relationships breaking down, but more clear that they wouldn’t settle for less than they needed. Schneller also found that people often saw divorce as a catalyst for growth: “Because divorce still carries some stigma in our society, divorce provided a challenge to create positive meanings from this experience.” Women tended to feel more assertive post divorce,while men tended to feel more egalitarian: divorce can be a chance to shake off some stereotypes, which is a lesson you carry forward into new relationships.
Divorce is seldom a happy experience at the time, but if you feel ready for a new relationship, it’s comforting to reflect that you may well have some greater wisdom and higher standards to take with you as you get back out in the world and try again.
What hobbies do you have? Find daily life interests and spend time in activities that make you happy.Destroy old memories in case they hurt or disturb your emotions.Keep yourself motivated and start a new life without any sorrows/regrets.
Know It Was Not Your Fault
The best way to overcome depression of divorce is to understand that it wasnt your fault and it is the best way to heal your wounds.Stop feeling ashamed.
Give Yourself A Break
It can be hard to accept painful emotions; sometimes it feels like they’ll overwhelm us if we don’t tamp them down.Make changes in your daily routine and go on vacations to overcome depression.