Best 5 Tips to Deal with Post-Divorce Depression
Best 5 Tips to Deal with Post Divorce Depression
Did you know that divorce is the second most painful life experience you can ever have? It’s only surpassed by the death of a spouse. Most women I know don’t take the needed steps to process the loss. As a result, post-divorce depression shows up and doesn’t leave the house for a very long time.
A study published in the issue of Psychological Science found that divorce leaves a lasting effect on our happiness levels. Happiness drops significantly when a woman copes with divorce, opening a window for depression to enter. Happiness levels can gradually rebound over time, especially, if combined with counseling and healing work.
This is why I want to share my top five tips to prevent post divorce depression and rediscover yourself after divorce faster than you can do it on your own. Plus, you’ll be able to wear your happy smile with unshakable pride.
Most women I work with are considered to be “power women.” The last thing they want to do is to admit to themselves in how much pain they are and how lonely they feel.
Choose The Empowering Way To Grief
Sometimes little shifts in your vocabulary can make or break post-divorce depression. If you decide to describe your emotional state as depression, you will get yourself there way faster. I am sure you can recall the day when you told your ex-husband that “Words Matter. They Have Power!” Why don’t you remind yourself of this profound fact?
Sadness and an avalanche of other mixed emotions are normal during this life transition. Don’t describe it as depression. Grief is a necessary step in releasing and processing the divorce. I know how challenging it is for the ‘power women‘ to feel sadness, hopelessness, and loss. I’ve been there.
Feeling these emotions makes us feel weak. So what do we do? We seek escape and denial at work or lose ourselves in post-divorce food binge, trapping ourselves even deeper in the maze of post-divorce depression.
What I’ve experienced myself and seen my clients go through is that once you accept grief instead of fighting it, you’ll be able to come out of this painful experience stronger that you’ve been. Because you will not victimize yourself by seeing a situation worse than it is. The key is, feeling it. It won’t last forever. There is no way of getting over it. You have to go through it.
Avoid The Post Divorce Grave
At some point of divorce, you will start hating and resenting your ex, especially if you’re divorcing a narcissist. It’s normal. What’s not normal is to hold on to that hate for many years to your new life. The situation becomes worse when some women decide to hold on to their hate as their way of revenge.
In one study, researchers developed a Revenge Scale that measures the degree of which anger, resentment, and hatred get people stuck in the past. When we use resentment as a tool for revenge, it often transpires through the following statements:
- I’ll make him pay;
- I wish that something bad would happen to him;
- I want him to get what he deserves;
- I’m going to get even;
- I want to see him hurt and miserable.
One Chinese Proverbs says,
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”?
The truth is you broke up not because everything was amazing and wonderful. Divorce happened because things were far from being loving and respectful. Another truth is he doesn’t care about your revenge. In a few months or years, maybe even days, he will be sailing his new life with a new woman.
He Just Doesn’t Care
Another truth is he doesn’t care about your revenge. In a few months or years, maybe even days, he will be sailing his new life with a new woman. It doesn’t mean that what you had didn’t matter to him. It means that he has given himself permission to let go and be happy.
Have you given yourself permission to be happy? Or are you keeping yourself hostage in the past?
Learning how to let go and process your emotions will be your best medicine to mitigate post-divorce depression.
Give Yourself This Gift
It’s not unusual for women to fall into doing this egregiously fatal mistake during their post-divorce transition. They refuse to forgive their ex-husbands. You might think unforgiveness will protect you from getting hurt ever again. But in fact, it really won’t. It’ll poison you.
In another scenario, you will constantly live in the past, punishing all men what your ex-husband did to you. You will be wasting your energy on him, without ever being able to be present for your new potential partner. Remember, unforgiveness blocks you from taking the risk of love. It also controls your stress level.
The New Science Of Forgiveness & Everyday Stress!
In another study, they looked into people’s stress levels and how it was related to their ability to forgive a romantic partner. Researchers measured levels of cortisol in the saliva of people who had recently failed relationships, as the participants were asked to think about their relationships.
Astonishingly, their stress hormone skyrocketed. Those jumps in stress were highly correlated with their unforgiving attitudes toward their partner.
Create A Self-Esteem Charger
You are definitely going to need a post-divorce self-esteem charger, because my guess is that at some point in the divorce process, you will blame yourself, look for what you did wrong and what you should have done differently, and say, “You’re a failure.”
This self-deprecating talk becomes even more toxic when it’s your second or third divorce. But you and I know that you’re not a failure.
I know that you don’t believe me because you’re in excruciating pain. I can also tell you that your friends can’t even convince of that true fact because all you see is your “BIG AND FAT” mistake called divorce.
You do know how stupid this thinking is because you’ve succeeded in other parts of your life. Look at your masterful career. Let’s create little reminders for you to never forget about how resourceful you are. Your life events don’t define your self-worth.
Steps Dealing Post-Divorce Self-Esteem Charger
To create a self-love charger, set up 3 daily reminders on your phone. The first one is at 7 am telling you “Rise and Shine. It’s Your Time to Gift The World.”
The second one is at 2:30 pm – “You’re Beautiful Inside Out. I Love You!” The third one is at 9:30 pm – “It’s time to love yourself, baby!”
Then, do one self-loving thing for yourself. It can be a cup of tea, bubble bath, your favorite book, or looking yourself in the mirror to say “I Love You!”
Try it with your children. It’s a great way to introduce self-love into their daily lives as well.
Find Your Wisdom
Dealing with a divorce is hard; you can find helpful ways to cope with the divorce here. It’s painful, but it can also be the best thing that has ever happened to you. If you want to be liberated from your divorce, there is only one way to do it.
It’s to find your wisdom in all of that mess. The best way to do it is with a therapist. I can be your guide in finding a new perspective that will open doors to powerful life lessons.
I worked with Jennifer who came to me 30 days after the divorce. She was heartbroken and scared all at once. She was looking for hope and excitement to spend time working on herself FOR herself and not for anyone else. When she got her pearl of wisdom, she told me,”
I am scrounging up all my courage to finally face all my demons. It’s time. I’m tired of feeling half and trying to make myself whole by attaching myself to others. It’s time. I will likely re-read this over and over. I’m sure it’ll look different to me each time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. -Jennifer
Maybe your divorce has freed you to become the person you were meant to be. Maybe for the first time ever, you will finally get to meet YOU. Maybe you want to inspire a friend who is stuck in a toxic relationship to get out. Whatever your story is, you have a pearl of wisdom hidden inside.
Here are just a few pearls of wisdom from my clients. They read and carry them every day:
- Love yourself first and make sure you’re ready to fall for another person because you don’t want to depend on them for your emotional baggage.
- Not only is it important to stay true to your authentic self for yourself, it’s the only way to develop meaningful, functional relationships.
- Staying true to yourself is the only way you can be fair to your partner (and others in your life).
- Most people (and I did it too) forget about the most important relationship in their life – the one to yourself.
Now that you’ve read this, I’d love to know: what aha or lesson from this conversation is most relevant to you now — and why?
Leave a comment below and share as much detail as you can in your reply.
So many women come here each week for insight and inspiration. They might not have the courage yet to leave a comment, but they surely read yours. And your perspective may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
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