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How To Get Over Divorce Depression And Start Moving On With Your Life
From:
Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R) Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Rockville , MD
Wednesday, February 06, 2019

 

Divorce is a harrowing and stressful event under any circumstance, and more so if it wasn’t what you wanted. Getting through the legal battles, negotiation, compromise, financial and emotional devastation, and life disruption is difficult enough. It’s a long-term transition. You may feel like you’ve been forced to leave a cozy, safe nest, and thrown into a world of uncertainty and self-preservation. The things you most looked forward to in life seem to have evaporated like mist in the hard glare of sunlight, and your sense of loss and grief is overwhelming. How do you get over divorce depression and move on with your life when it feels like your dreams have turned to ashes?

No loss of a loved one is ever easy, whether it be by separation or death. Please know that any break up after a long relationship feels just as bad as a divorce, so I use the term loosely. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety after a divorce or other traumatic event is known as situational depression.

Psychologically speaking, it’s an adjustment disorder “with depressed mood." or “with mixed anxiety and depressed mood.." Along with the preceding symptoms, you may experience difficulty sleeping, crying episodes, loss of concentration, and a desire to seclude yourself from family and friends. You are not abnormal and you are not alone.

Here are some steps to overcoming divorce depression and restoring peace to your life:

Write in a journal in long hand.

Write it all down–your sorrow, sadness, pain, and the events that triggered them. List all the things you lost in the divorce. Go a step further and write your ex-spouse a letter for your own keeping. Do not send it. This is for your eyes alone. Get your thoughts and feelings down on paper. When I’ve written letters like this after a break-up, I’ve torn them up and burned them in a ritualistic fashion.

After a few days take out your notebook again, only this time you’re going to write about all the things you can look forward to. Doing this might take some effort, but be open to the possibilities! Consider things like more peace in the home, no more constant fighting, new opportunities for work or travel, and the things you are grateful for like the kids you created together or your new pet that s/he would have been allergic to.

You are saying goodbye to hurts and offenses and saying hello to new dreams and goals.

You might want to write the letter to your ex on a night with a full moon, and all the things you can look forward to as well as what you’d like to experience in your new lifestyle on a new moon evening. If this seems too woo woo to you, disregard this advice, but I love using natural things as guideposts for life balance.

If you don’t destroy and release your “goodbye letter,” tuck it away. Leave your “hello letter." out where you can see it and add to it regularly, like on or over your bathroom mirror.

Schedule a brief pity party.

It’s natural to let your mind wander throughout the day to dwell on the hurt and injustices that accompanied the divorce, but you must learn to take control of negative thought patterns and replace them with gratitude, self-encouragement, acceptance, and yes, eventually, forgiveness. Yet rather than deny those negative thoughts and feelings, you’re going to put them on a schedule.

Set aside a limited amount of time each day where you give yourself permission to acknowledge the pain and loss. Then later, when your mind drifts and you start ruminating over “woulda-shoulda-coulda,." remind yourself; Not right now. You can wait until the designated time.

One exercise you can practice is to set a timer for five minutes each day. Open up to any thoughts, sensations, or feelings that are associated with the trauma. Set “office hours,." where all thoughts, feelings, sensations and images are welcome. For the rest of the day, when painful internal experiences arise, you can acknowledge the thoughts, feelings or images and gently remind them that they can come back during office hours, but at the current moment there are other tasks you need to available for. When the time comes, let yourself FEEL.

Shedding tears can heal the soul. When the timer goes off, settle yourself, ground yourself, and go on about your day. Gradually, you’ll rid yourself of the negative feelings if you let yourself express them and aren’t tamping them down because you’re “too busy.”

Take care of your body.

The health of our bodies affects the health of our mind and emotions. Junk food, inactivity, and stress all take a toll on how we feel about ourselves and life in general. Do at least one physical activity that’s fun every week or more often. Unless you love running on a treadmill, find something else once a week–that’s what I mean.

When you don’t feel like cooking, it’s easy to grab fast food on the way home from work or to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave, but this will only add to your stress (and waistline) as your body becomes depleted of essential nutrients. Instead of reaching for a donut or handful of chips in front of the TV set, choose a healthy alternative like raw vegetables or fresh fruit and go for a brisk walk.

You may want to excuse yourself because you have to feed the kids, or you’re only cooking for one now. These kinds of excuses are slippery slopes. Would you be on top of a tall icy mountains without proper equipment, mindset, and nutrition. Be kind to yourself instead with beautiful music, funny social media videos, or talking to a friend.

Have a friend. Be a friend.

Maintain or develop your social network. Look for people in your life who love you and are supportive of you. Make time to be with family or close friends, friends from church or a club, or a divorce recovery support group. Socializing may be the last thing you want to do, but it’s an effective way to heal from the pain of divorce.

Give of yourself to others as well. You have experiences and wisdom to share. There’s nothing more therapeutic than to help someone else in need or to bring a smile to another’s face.

Move on with your life.

This isn’t accomplished overnight, but one day at a time. Realize that a person doesn’t just “get over a divorce,." but they can get through it and move beyond it. You can dream again. The Dream Machine might be rusty, but with the oil of hope, gratitude and friendship,  it will be up and running soon enough. Dare to dream, to take healthy risks, to create an action plan, and to embrace your new life. It will be different, of course, but it can be fulfilling, meaningful, and rewarding too.

Kathy Ramsperger is an award-winning author, humanitarian, and master coach, who’s lived and eventually thrived through two major relationship endings and many deaths. If you’d like her advice or to set up a free consult to discover other ways to heal, email her at kathy@groundonecoaching.com or click here and leave a message 

Note: If your depression becomes chronic or symptoms worsen over time, seek professional help from a doctor or therapist.

 
Author & Coach
Ground One LLC
North Bethesda, MD
301-503-5150