Congratulations on surviving Valentine’s Day – pretty much the worst day in the world – especially anyone dealing with divorce. And even if you get divorced or have a purpose in life after the divorce, it can be incredibly difficult to show yourself the love you deserve no matter what time of year.
But in my years as a divorce coach for women 50 and older (and as someone who has gone through a painful divorce myself) I’ve actually discovered some incredible things that I can do for myself and others that are guaranteed to be February, March, and spring full of warmth, love and fulfillment.
Donate to a charity that supports women and girls in need
It doesn’t matter where you are in life or how lost you feel after your divorce. There are women out there who need you, and you – yes, you – can do things that might even make their lives slightly better.
Whether nationally or internationally, related to educating girls in developing countries, equal access to reproductive health, providing toiletries for homeless women, or your local Boy Scout troop, there are many incredible organizations out there who love (and need!) . Your time and investment.
Not sure where to start? And nervous that the money you donate isn’t going to those in need? No sweat. I love exploring Charity Navigator’s list specially put together for women and girls in need. You can check it out here!
Awesome women charities
Even if you are in great pain after decades of marriage, there are two things you can do for you in helping other women.
Number one: it affirms that you are not alone and that there is a community that needs you.
Number two: it shows you that even if you are injured and stuck, you can break free of patterns that are holding you down. Because you deserve so much luck – whether it’s a divorce, you’re actually getting divorced, or you’ve already been divorced, trying to make sense of what’s next for you in this new chapter of your life.
Write a love letter to three incredible women in your life
It could be a good friend, a teacher, your mother, aunt, sister, hairdresser, therapist, or the health care professional who found the suspicious knot early and saved your life.
It doesn’t matter what status she has. And it doesn’t matter how long the letter is. It can be as simple as sending a text message to them. Or an email. Or find a nice card at the grocery store. Or actually get out some nice stationery and write an old school letter (my favorite!)
All that matters is that you thank her for what she did for you. And it influenced you in a positive way.
For me, I decided to write a letter to my incredible high school English teacher – a woman who quit her stressful job as a corporate accountant to pursue her love of teaching teenagers and writing. I also wrote one to an eminent U.S. Army sergeant I had worked with who helped me navigate a very scary time when I was injured and unsure of what to do. And I also wrote one to a former therapist of mine who had long since retired from helping me deal with the collapse of my own marriage and helping me understand life as a divorced woman.
Who are your incredible women?
Romanticize yourself in February and beyond.
Many of us have received social conditioning that has told us that it is wrong and forgiving and selfish to even think about doing something for ourselves. And if we do, we’re no better than Cruella Deville. In fact, many of us have been conditioned to take care of others and never put ourselves first, but that silliness stops today. In the spirit of love, this weekend I encourage you to romanticize yourself.
It can look whatever you want.
It can soak in a hot bubble bath with the door closed so nobody can annoy you.
You might order a delicious take-out and watch your favorite show on Netflix (um, Bridgerton or Emily in Paris, anyone?)
It may finally be the case that you are ordering that super-soft gown that you kept your eye on but felt guilty about purchasing it.
Some of these things can even be affordable luxuries – which is perfect when you’re getting divorced and aren’t sure what your financial situation will be like in the end. Or if you are already on the other side of the divorce and are still navigating your new financial situation. It is entirely possible to take care of yourself in any budget.
There are endless benefits to romanticizing yourself after a divorce. Most importantly, this should repeatedly give you an inner sense of self-worth and teach you that you don’t need an outside source – your family’s approval, no husband, nothing – to feel good about yourself. For years our society has brainwashed us into believing that we are only valid when we have a husband. But when we put ourselves first and embrace the worth we have just to be, we take our strength back.
And taking back your strength is the greatest act of love of all.
And what about you? Having trouble making love after the divorce? What steps can you take to pamper yourself and love how you deserve it?
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce recovery trainer who helps working women overcome their loneliness and break free from the patterns so they can feel fulfilled, have more fun, and look forward to the future.
Visit http://survivingyoursplit.com for your free Goddess of Divorce Restoration Kit
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash