Most people think about grief when it comes to the death of a loved one. But, grief can occur after any kind of loss. You can grieve after leaving a job, selling a family home, or even after going through a divorce.
A divorce can actually feel like a huge loss. You’re not just losing the marriage, itself, but many things about your lifestyle are likely to change. You might have to move. Your schedule with your children might be different. Even your financial situation can change, forcing you to “lose” the life you’ve grown used to.
So, it’s understandable and normal to grieve a divorce. But, it’s also important to understand how to grieve in healthy, effective ways. Doing so will help you find closure and make it easier to move forward.
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
You undoubtedly have a lot on your plate right now. You’re trying to readjust and figure out how to live your life in a completely different way. But, that doesn’t mean you should push your feelings down or ignore them.
The grief that comes with a divorce is very real. Your emotions will always demand to be felt. The longer you try to ignore them, the stronger they’re likely to become until you can’t hold them back anymore.
You might be dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions. It’s okay to feel anger, sadness, frustration, and confusion — even all at once! Let those feelings come to the surface so you can fully process and work through them. Give yourself time to grieve and understand what you’re feeling, so you can move forward faster.
Look to the Future
If you were married for a long time, you might be struggling with thoughts of the future. So many people “lose” their identities in long relationships. It’s hard to know who you are without that other person involved, especially when you had plans to grow old together.
Recognize that you still have a future and you’re in control. Now is the time to think about new hopes and dreams, so you can start working toward them instead of dwelling on the dreams you may have had with your former spouse.
Talk to Someone
Accepting your emotions is a good place to start, but you also don’t have to keep them to yourself. Sometimes, expressing your feelings to someone you trust can make a big difference in how you feel.
Lean on your support system. That doesn’t mean you have to listen to every piece of advice. While most people mean well, the grieving process is very personal and should be done at your own pace.
Instead, use the people in your life as shoulders to lean on. Let them know how you’re feeling and what you need from them. Maybe you’re not looking for advice right now, but you could use someone to help you get out of the house more often, or even someone to help you take care of a few chores while you’re trying to normalize a new lifestyle. Let people in — they’ll be more willing to help than you might think.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care should never take a back seat, especially when you’re grieving. Simple things like getting enough sleep, staying physically active, and prioritizing your mental health can go a long way in helping you through the grieving process.
If you’re having a hard time with daily self-care, talk to someone. Therapy can be a wonderful way to take care of yourself. You’ll learn how to process your emotions in healthy ways, so you can move forward and experience joy again. This loss doesn’t have to define the rest of your life, and working through your grief by caring for yourself can help you realize that.
Begin Divorce Grief and Loss Counseling in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Online in Arizona
If you would like to learn how grief counseling can help you with divorce recovery please reach out. Our team of therapists would be honored to support you. We are happy to offer services from our Phoenix, Scottsdale, and, AZ-based practice with online therapy. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Start Empty Nest Grief Therapy with Crossroads Counseling
Our offices are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, and Scottsdale. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email email@example.com. We offer a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation to answer your questions and better understand how we can help you.