Loneliness after divorce is to be expected. Some deal with loneliness better than others, but it's a a feeling most will encounter. I’ve been divorced for ten years. During those ten years, I’ve been busy building a career and raising two boys, all of which are things that kept me from feeling lonely. When you are focused on building a career and earning enough money to make ends meet, you don’t have much time to think about how alone you are.
Having children around also helps cushion the depth of any loneliness I felt. My boys were great company. Between my children and my work, my life seemed complete. Loneliness was not something I felt often. Things have changed for me recently, however. I’m more aware of the fact that I’m alone, and feelings of loneliness creep in at times. My career is flourishing, both my boys are out on their own, and I’m left, for the first time, to deal with me, myself, and I.
When you go through a divorce and lose the company and support of a spouse, or, in my case, finally get time to think about how alone you are after years of focusing on career and children, you may feel a suffocating loneliness. But there are things you can do to deal with the loss and loneliness you feel.
1. Get a Pet
Get a dog or cat, even a hamster. I have three dogs and have found that the unconditional love they offer helps lessen the loneliness I feel. I’m never alone if I have my three furry friends around. Since I love animals so much, I’ve recently started volunteering at a local animal shelter. For four hours a week I’m amongst other people, building new relationships, and doing something that gets me outside my problems and myself.
If you aren’t an animal person, think about volunteering at a local hospital, nursing home, or homeless shelter. Doing so will not only help relieve your loneliness, but it will also help the community.
3. Find a Group
Check out MeetUp.com. This is a great online resource if you are 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 will be surprised how many people out there are looking for the company of others.
4. Distract Yourself
Keeping your mind occupied and off the fact that you are now alone is good medicine. It may not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but tackling housework at home is better than sitting around ruminating over how alone you are.
5. 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.
6. Do Something You've Always Wanted
You know that thing you've always talked about doing but have always put off? It could be a single's cruise to Spain or an art class at your local university, but whatever it is, getting out and fulfilling your desires is a great way to squash loneliness.
7. Relish the Right Things
I once had someone tell me to "relish" my alone time. Bad advice! Too much alone time leads to isolation, and isolation leads to depression and many other issues you don't want to have to add to the list of problems you've already got going on. Relish the fact that, in the technological world we live in, there is always a way to find other people to spend time with, so get out of the house and get social.