Loneliness after divorce is only natural. Some deal with loneliness better than others, but it's a feeling most will probably encounter. When you go through a divorce and lose the company and support of a spouse, it can be a startling change. Focusing on a career or having children around can help, but if you're wondering how to deal with loneliness after divorce, know that you're not alone, and it is possible to overcome. There are definitely some things you can do to deal with the loss and loneliness you feel post-divorce.
Read on for seven tips on how to deal with loneliness after divorce.
Get a Pet
Get a dog, a cat, even a hamster. Having the unconditional love they offer can help lessen the loneliness you feel. You'll never be alone if you have your furry friends around—plus, taking care of a pet will keep you busy and help distract you while you heal.
If you love animals, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. You'll be around other people, build new relationships, and do something that gets you out of your post-divorce rut.
Find a Group
Check out MeetUp.com. It's a great online resource if you're looking for others in your area with similar interests. You can find a local book club, kindle group, scrapbooking group, cooking group, or maybe even a divorce support group. Take a look—you'll be surprised how many people out there are looking for company and friendship.
"Staying at home and trying to ignore the sadness or grief will only postpone it," says therapist Susan Pease Gadoua.
Keeping your mind occupied and off the fact that you are now alone is a good tactic. It may not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but tackling housework at home, taking on that organizational project you've been thinking about for months, or running necessary errands is better than sitting around ruminating over how alone you are.
Ask For Help
Don't try to deal with everything alone. If you're struggling, reach out to a family member, friend, or consider talking to a therapist to help work through the loneliness. "Those who reach out for help always land on their feet, whereas those who try to go it alone end up suffering much more and don't do nearly as well," Pease Gadoua says.
Take up a New Hobby
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, join a watercolor class and give it a go. If you want to stay fit and cure your loneliness, think about taking tennis lessons or joining a karate class. The idea is to fill your day with activities that will keep your mind occupied and your life full.
Jenkinson, C.E., Dickens, A.P., Jones, K. et al. Is Volunteering a Public Health Intervention? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Health and Survival of Volunteers. BMC Public Health 13, 773 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-773