Divorce represents a time of loss and grief. In its wake, we're left with a void that was once filled with the love we gave away.
Another way to look at the situation is that divorce gives us an opportunity to focus on self-love.
You might be wondering how to go about loving yourself. But it's not so difficult. Consider the ways in which you show love to others:
Meet Your Physical Needs.
Feed yourself nutritious food and stay hydrated. Rest when you need to. Explore safe and creative ways to experience pleasure.
Treat yourself as you would a good friend going through a similar situation. Be gentle. Allow yourself to feel, scream, and cry. Don't rush. Set aside time and create space to sit alone and listen to the voice inside that knows what you truly need.
Use Kind Words.
What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror? What about when you make a mistake? Or when you cross off everything on your to-do list? Keep your self-talk positive, forgiving, understanding and uplifting. Congratulate yourself when necessary, and use affirmations to help anchor a positive attitude.
Find ways to laugh. Do the things you love to do, even (especially) if it means doing them alone. Take yourself out to dinner or see a sporting event.
Invest in Yourself.
Imagine your Best Self and take steps toward becoming that person. Join a club to learn a new hobby. Take a class to improve your professional persona. Or simply save for a dream vacation.
You can't be everything to everyone. Determine your limits, communicate them, and stick to them. Your boundaries could pertain to anything from how you communicate with your ex to how much time you spend volunteering, or whether you make plans before noon on a Sunday. Honor your needs.
Indulge a Little.
Once in a while, order a decadent dessert. Or book a massage. Or buy a new car. Perhaps you'd prefer to hire someone to clean your house. Treat yourself.
In short: be your own best friend. As time goes on, you'll learn to love your own company as much as you once loved another.
Written by Tara Eisenhard
Tara Eisenhard is a divorce coach who helps struggling singles overcome shame and frustration, en route to finding peace and cultivating a life they love. She is also the author of the novel "The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child's Eyes." Other articles by Tara can be found at her blog, Relative Evolutions.