Breakups hurt–whether you have been in a relationship for a year or a decade. No matter the divorce rates, or how common it has become, when it happens to you, the impact can leave you reeling.
Even the terminology that we use to talk about divorce hints at the emotional and mental pain that goes along with it. For example, according to Miller &Steiert, P.C., a family lawyer,”you have to affirmatively assert and swear that the marriage is irretrievably broken to be divorced in Colorado.”
So how do you come back to a place of wholeness after hitting bottom?
Emotional recovery will take time. Right now it might feel like your emotions and moods will never even out. But the important thing to remember is that you will get through this.
Here are some actions to do and not do that will help to stabilize your moods and emotions during this time.
- Avoid burying yourself in work.
Yes, work can help you take your mind off your present situation. But avoidance is not a good tactic in the long run. In fact, instead of busying yourself with work, you should aim to cut back a little.
Coming out of a relationship might have you questioning yourself, your friends, and reevaluating your life path. Instead of ignoring those questions, allow yourself to think about them. This is easier done when you have not buried yourself in work.
Your financial situation after your separation might take some getting used to. Particularly, if you were previously used to living on a double income. But asking for a couple extra hours and using work as an avoidance tactic are two different things.
- Don’t repress your anger.
Do not try to repress your anger or pretend that all is okay. Anger is considered by therapists to be an energizing force that helps you release stress from your body. It can help you feel in charge, rather than helpless. Trying to deny your anger or hurt will only delay the healing process.
While you do not want to stay stuck in your anger, venting will help you come to terms with your pain. So allow your anger to be used in a positive way.
It is important to vent to the right person, however. Your friends and family will want to help and be a listening ear for you. You might want to avoid putting too much strain on your relationship with them. Instead, find a therapist you can talk to, who is trained in helping people recover from divorce.
- Invest in self-care.
Anything you invest time, money, and attention to gains importance in your mind. That is why investing in yourself after a separation is vital to helping you remember that you are worthy of love. The more you take care of yourself, the more your self-confidence and sense of self-value will increase.
If you have not done so for a while, get back to exercising daily. Take yourself out of the house for a run or have a workout session at the gym. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals that can energize you and help you have a better day
- Celebrate your newly single status.
There is much to be happy about with your new status. Enjoy your new freedoms. Call up your girlfriends and go on a girl’s night out! Take up a new hobby. Fully indulge in that food or activity that your ex never wanted to eat/do. Wear those clothes that you stopped wearing for the sake of your ex-partner.
For now, the focus is on doing those things that make YOU happy. No one else.
- Eat foods that help to boost your mood.
Don’t let your diet get filled with non-healthy foods. Chips and deep-fried foods might be your first choice when you are deep in a depressive funk. But the foods that will help you climb out of your depression are not going to be found in the chip aisle or at a fast-food joint.
If you want to stabilize your emotions you need to focus on nutrition-rich foods that will keep your brain chemistry firing in a healthy way. Foods that have been proven to be mood-boosting include salmon, green tea, oats, spinach, brazil nuts, lentils, and vegetables.
Choosing healthy foods over sugar and oil-laden foods will help you avoid the guilt that comes after binging on junk snacks.