After a divorce, most individuals have to adjust to living alone again after living with a spouse. This can be a drastic change for anyone, in addition to the other stressful aspects of a divorce.
Upon separation and divorce, people commonly face a wide range of emotions and one of the most common emotions that recently separated and divorced individuals deal with is loneliness. Here are some tips to help individuals work through the loneliness they might feel:
1. Allow yourself to feel, but don’t isolate yourself
Being alone is one of the most common fears that people share. Therefore, it is natural to grieve the significant change in circumstances when individuals go from cohabiting to living alone again.
Grieving the loss after a separation and divorce is natural. Individuals should take time for themselves and allow themselves to grieve and experience the complex emotions after divorce – after all, that is the only way to work through these emotions. However, individuals should try not to isolate themselves. Isolation often only compounds the feelings of loneliness and can make it more difficult for individuals to cope with these feelings.
2. Learn to be alone again – not lonely
Being alone is not the same thing as being lonely. It may be a big change to live without a spouse, but individuals have the power to change their mindset as well as how they approach living alone.
For example, living alone can open up many new opportunities such as:
- Redecorating the new living space, or perhaps the old space, to make it seem more like a home;
- Making time to do something they always wanted to try, whether that is taking a class or starting a new hobby;
- Hosting get-togethers with friends or family; or
- Traveling to a place where they have always wanted to go.
Instead of viewing being alone as a negative change, individuals could consider the possibilities and make new goals for their future.
3. Reach out for help
If the feeling of loneliness becomes too much for an individual to handle on their own, they should not be afraid to ask for help, whether from friends, family or a North Carolina mental health professional. Dwelling too long on loneliness can have a negative impact on an individual’s emotional, mental and social well-being.
Reaching out to someone for help may help individuals feeling lonely and help them to embrace a new sense of community.