Suggesting for Coping With Divorce
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to suggest activities that may help you cope with a divorce. This article is NOT professional advice and was not written by a therapist. If you are having difficulty coping with divorce, we suggest that you consult with a licensed healthcare professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Meditation helps practitioners train their minds to, among other things, achieve relaxation and calmness. The practice of meditation has been around for several thousand years and has even been incorporated into religions such as Buddhism. By relaxing through meditation, many practitioners have been able to relax their minds and help alleviate certain health issues such as depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
Meditation can be done in any number of positions, including sitting, standing, kneeling, etc. Additionally, almost all forms of meditation involve some sort of regulated breathing which will help slow the heart rate and calm the mind.
There are many types of meditation out there, so it’s best to explore different types to find which will work best for you. They can include classical forms such as Tai Chi or more modern systems such as Transcendental Meditation.
Yoga was developed around 5,000 years ago and comes from the Hindu spiritual tradition. Practicing yoga involves controlling one’s breath, meditation, and a variety of body poses. Many people practice yoga for relaxation and to help achieve a number of health benefits. For example, if you are afflicted by joint and muscle pain, yoga may be a good way to help soothe those ailments. Yoga has become a more mainstream practice in the U.S. over the past several decades and is routinely offered by traditional gyms.
There are different types of yoga which have branched out over time, so it’s best to try them and find the one which best suits your practice. Santa Monica based Naam Yoga, a non-profit organization, offers a variety of classes focusing on both yoga and meditation. Christina Pabers PhD, MA TCM, L.Ac, says "In a Naam Yoga practice we work with sound, breath, meditation and movement causing the nervous system to go into a state of calm attentiveness, allowing us to have a perspective of positivity even under the most challenging of situations. It is an excellent way to harmonize and balance the emotions, empowering us to face challenges and fears, to overcome anger and to transition through life changes such as divorce with more ease.
"The hardest thing for me to cope with while I was going through divorce was that my family structure fell apart. I felt alone with my daughter and I didn’t have the family support I needed. Naam Yoga and meditation was the most powerful tool that helped me find my inner strength and reconnect with others. During the hour that I was doing breath work and yoga, I realized that I was free from all my worries and concerns. My heart was open, my mind was peaceful and I could make decisions from a responsive place rather than a reactive place. Naam Yoga healed me and allowed me to open the next wonderful chapter of my life."
- Sandra L, mother
Don’t worry about whether you’re choosing the right one or not, in the end all approaches to yoga have the goal of promoting wellbeing.
Setting New Goals
When faced with difficult times, it’s best to try and find opportunities to change for the better. There are many successful entrepreneurs out there who have said that a short-term disaster (such as getting fired from a job) opened to the door to new and better opportunities. And, while divorce can many times be a traumatic experience for a person, it may also be a good time to try and set new life goals. Have you always wanted to write the Great American Novel? What’s stopping you? Have you always dreamed of visiting Paris? Why not go ahead and plan that trip now?
Additionally, it may be a good time to try and find a mentor or consult with a life/career coach to help you figure out a path forward. There are many people out there get “stuck in a rut” and setting new goals can help give you a sense of renewed sense of purpose and meaning.
The choice whether or not to engage a therapist can be difficult for some people. But, rest assured that there’s no shame in seeking out the help of a good therapist. Some people are intimidated by the process, but just keep in mind that there are millions of people who have benefited from therapy. One key is to find a therapist you feel comfortable with and who can help you work through the issues troubling you.
Also, therapy is more than just talking with your therapist and sometimes there will be “homework,” which may include tracking your moods, keeping a journal, or pushing yourself to engage in social activities that have been difficult for you in the past.
Hypnotism in general has been in use since ancient Greece and Egypt to treat a variety of conditions and it’s uncertain whether such techniques were effective. However, modern "clinical or therapeutic hypnosis is quite different than the stage hypnosis with which many are familiar," says Certified Hypnotherapist Dr. Nancy Irwin. "My philosophy is that everyone knows what they need. I begin the initial session by fully explaining scientifically how the mind works, and the body simply follows. I listen and then 'reprogram' their unconscious."
When is hypnotherapy most helpful? Dr. John McGrail, author of The Synthesis Effect, says, "Since hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that creates an open, receptive state of mind, it can be used as a powerful tool to effect and facilitate personal change, growth and transformation across a wide array of behavioral, emotional, physical and even spiritual issues." He continues, " I work to help young people overcome issues like bed-wetting, separation anxiety, night terrors, boosting self-confidence, and improving performance in the arts, academics and athletics. With older clients--adolescents to adults--I've dealt with issues like overcoming unwanted and or unhealthy habits, erasing fears and phobias, eliminating chronic stress and anxiety, developing spirituality, managing physical pain, and dealing with the emotional pain and grief associated with relationships that are either challenged or even over."
When it comes down to it, a hobby is anything you do for fun in your free time. It can be an effective way to alleviate stress, meet new people, and provide a creative outlet. Odds are that you can find other people interested in almost any hobby you’re interested in. There are literally thousands and thousands of different hobbies in the world just waiting for you to find. Here are just a few simple hobbies that you could start doing immediately: writing, painting, swimming, reading, stamp collecting, running, etc. Check out different hobbies online and see if any of them call to you. And, chances are that there are a group or two out there dedicated to any hobby that you find.
Socializing with others can offer many physical and mental health benefits. These benefits can include a longer life, greater physical health, greater mental health, and possibly lowering the risk of dementia. Forming and reinforcing existing social bonds is a valuable tool in coping with stressful times, especially divorce. One easy method is to reach out and reconnect with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while, like your old college roommate or a cousin who lives in another state. In addition, services such as Skype and FaceTime have made it much easier for people to stay in touch face-to-face.
Never underestimate the power of a good massage (or manicure and pedicure, for that matter). Spas have become so popular that a 2006 survey by the International Spa Association (ISPA) found that around 25% of all U.S. adults (approx. 57 million people) and up to 4 million teens have visited a spa at least once. The benefits of visiting a spa are pretty self-evident: alleviating stress and easing sore muscles and joints. As you probably know, stress is a leading cause of many mental and physical health issues and can surface in many different ways. A quick visit to the spa can be an easy and affordable way to relax.
Style Start Over
The divorce is final, now what? Divorce can bring about changes ranging from re-entering the work force to re-entering the dating scene. Whether it's looking for a job or going on a first date emotions can run the spectrum of scary to exciting. Los Angeles stylist Alison Deyette says choosing what to wear can be daunting and just plain nerve wracking. "That's why a little retail therapy can be a fun stress reliever," she says. As a stylist and LA style expert, Alison works with clients to not only reassess their wardrobe needs, but shop for and style a variety of new looks that fits a clients figure and lifestyle all within a budget. Alison says, "Treating yourself to stylish new looks is an instant confidence boost." Whether you work with a stylist or choose to shop on your own, she suggests you first clear out the clutter and organize your closet so you know what kinds of items you want to add. Just like when you go to the market, make a "shopping" list for new clothes and accessories. Shop for items that fit and flatter your figure not by what's in trend for the season and don't succumb to sales for sales sake. Buy what you love and will actually wear often. You're less likely to over spend that way. Plus, keep the tags on new purchases until you actually wear them just in case you change your mind and want to return the item.