I’m writing this blog for myself as well as for all of you. I want to explore the loneliness and depression that can follow after a failed marriage. I was going to write this blog a while ago, as I knew it was something a lot of us had struggled with, but to be honest I found it really difficult. How could I help others until I had helped myself? How could I give any advice until I followed it? And how could I conquer loneliness?
Starting with the most obvious- get a pet! Cats and dogs make amazing companions. Dogs can contribute to a massive improvement in their owner’s depression. They bring companionship, physical touch and make you feel wanted/needed. Exercise is a great mood lifter and the added routine of dog walking can be greatly beneficial. There is also improved socialisation through meeting other dog walkers. Dogs can be a proven aid to panic attack sufferers and you know what? Dogs can be really really funny! And what’s better than something that makes you laugh?
And cats. How cute are cats?! Cats are just so bloody cute. Why look at cute Internet cat pictures when you can have the real thing? If you work a lot and a dog doesn’t fit your lifestyle then cats are a great option. They don’t make much mess, don’t need walking and are mostly up for just sleeping and getting occasional cuddles……..I think maybe I used to be a cat in a former life.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet please please go to your local rescue centres and give an unwanted pet a home. There’s plenty of lonely animals as well as lonely people in this world.
Routine, routine, routine! Yup. Get yourself in to a good routine. They say it helps for kids and you know what? We’re just bigger kids. Join a club and go every week! Arrange a cinema/film night with friends. Join the gym and go. Plan how you will spend your week so you know when you will be alone and when you will be around other people. If you’re like me, you struggle to spend anytime alone. Then, you could aim to alternate nights of going out/seeing friends with staying home alone. Plan what you will do on that alone time with rough times if needed: 6:00 p.m. – make dinner, 6:30 p.m.- eat dinner, 7:00 p.m.- clean up, 7:30 p.m.- watch a chick flick (or if you’re like me it will just alternate between Twilight, Pulp Fiction, Human Traffic and Donnie Darko), 8:30 p.m.- eat an entire bar of chocolate…….
9:30 p.m.- take a nice, relaxing bubble bath, 10:00 p.m.- speak to online friends and get ready for bed. This is just a rough idea to get you thinking about planning on how to spend your time. I panic a lot; the thought of being alone scares me. So this way, I can think about how the time will be spent and make it pass easier.
Healthy eating and exercise. I really can’t expand enough on how important eating the right food and getting plenty of exercise can influence your mood. If you’re eating properly, your sugar and hormone levels will all be much better and provide increased energy to enjoy life. You don’t want to be lethargic and depressed! I’m not saying cut out chocolate and weekly takeaway because you definitely deserve the treats! Just think about making healthy choices and eat food that will help. Here’s a link to some food directly linked to helping with depression on Natural News.
Exercise was probably something that helped me the most when I was feeling down. Getting to the gym most days was great for focusing my mind on something, socializing and also great for realising anger! As well as trying to keep myself in shape and improving my self confidence, of course.
Conquering bad thoughts. It can be extreamly upsetting and tiring going over the same thoughts in your head that can be associated with getting a divorce. I think you know what I’m talking about. Self doubt. This does nothing for your self esteem. If you find yourself sitting there thinking of reasons why you are on your own, ‘Did I do this or that wrong?’, ‘Was I too needy?,’ or ‘Was I just a rubbish wife?,’ ‘Could I have been better?,’ etc. then I suggest for every down-on-yourself thought you have, add two positive affirmations of yourself. For example, ‘I should have been a better wife’ should be followed in your head with ‘I’m really funny and I make people laugh.’ Try and do your own version of this remind yourself why you are awesome! For me the big one is, ‘No one will ever love me’ but at least I know I can say ‘I’m a really loving person and I have my so much to give.’ Become aware of your thought processing and take control of it.
If you’re really struggling with depression, then go and see your doctor. There is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed. You know you have been happy before and trust me you can be happy again, it’s just sometimes people need a bit of help on their way. It’s up to you if you want to take medication. There’s no right or wrong answer, its just personal choice. But counseling is a great therapy and I don’t know many people who wouldn’t recommend trying it even for a short time period. Sometimes an impartial ear is all it takes. Counselling is not about giving you answers or someone else telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, it’s about someone completely non judgemental helping you in a confidential environment. It’s about omeone to listening to you and helping you to go through your thoughts and come to your own conclusions about things that may be causing you some trouble in life.
These are just a few ideas I thought might be helpful. Hope you find something that works for you. Remember you will be happy again.