Getting divorced can be one of the hardest things you will ever have to go through. You have been with a partner who you thought you would be together for the rest of your life and now you need to figure out what your life will be like in the future.
You may be frustrated, disappointed, worried about your future, and likely grieving the loss of what you tried to create together. Practicing gratitude seems to be something that is currently inaccessible and understandable. But gratitude is a wonderful way to ground yourself and remind yourself that despite everything you’ve been through, you are still here and that better days are ahead.
Here are seven simple ways you can practice gratitude today:
Keep a gratitude journal
You may not have kept a journal since you were a child, but keeping things down can really help. At the beginning or at the end of each day, write down 3-10 things that you are grateful for. You could write about a little act of kindness that you experienced during the day, a particularly beautiful ray of sunshine, or a moment of indulgence while enjoying a delicious meal. In dreary times, it can be enough to simply be grateful for the roof over your head. This simple exercise can help you be present and notice the little things that make life beautiful.
Meditate on gratitude
Meditation is extremely beneficial for your mental health, regardless of your current situation. Meditation provides a rare opportunity to clear the mind, sit still and just exist with nowhere and no work to do. Take ten minutes each day to decompress, release a safe space, and breathe deeply. It is often too difficult to clear your head. So look at your gratitude journal and think about the things you wrote down. If you need further guidance, you can find guided gratitude meditations on YouTube to educate you.
Get in touch with loved ones
When we’re going through something like a divorce, it’s easy to isolate ourselves from the outside world, especially when we have some family members judging us for the divorce. But find the people in your life to connect with and reach out to them regularly
In addition to providing valuable support and advice during a divorce, loved ones can remind you that they are an integral part of your life. If you often forget to call or text friends and family, why not set a time every week and check back weekly. This routine can help promote a sense of stability and security, and gives you something to look forward to.
Yoga is good for the mind and body. Yoga isn’t about reaching a certain level of body type – it’s about strengthening your body in a way that feels good to the touch. It’s about stretching, breathing deeply, and feeling grounded in yourself. Yoga is a meditative process and can be a great alternative to meditation if you are having trouble sitting still. Don’t be afraid to turn your yoga practice into a self-care ritual. You can do yoga on your bed in your PJs, but there’s nothing like a pair of active leggings that will make you feel like a million bucks.
Volunteers or charitable donations
In the aftermath of a divorce, it can feel like you are the worst luck in the world. And while it’s not a competition, there will be others fighting in ways that can put your own turmoil in perspective. There are many amazing organizations you can donate your time or money to, from those focused on homelessness and women’s education to reproductive health and sanitation in developing countries. If you spend some time devoting your time or money to charity, or simply your child’s school, you can stop thinking inside yourself.
Practice self-care daily, weekly, and monthly
For many of us, our quality of self-sufficiency reflects our sanity. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the house on the red carpet every day – self-care means different things for everyone – but you should be aware of why you are feeling human and practice these things often.
This can mean making sure your home is clean before settling down for the evening, investing in a cleaner once a week (yes, you have permission to do so!), Blow drying your hair once a month, or one to get manicures regularly. Try to create a checklist of self-care activities that you do daily, weekly, and monthly to prioritize. As you do these things, say thank you for them and write them down in your gratitude journal.
Write one thank you letter a day
This simple approach can be leaving a message thanking a coworker, saying thank you out loud when someone makes an effort to get you a coffee, or texting a friend thanking them for that he was listening to you on the phone the other day. These notes don’t have to be deep and can even be for yourself or an inanimate object (“Thank you car for taking me from A to B”), but they help you see all the things for which you are grateful have to.
Gratitude may not come easy at first, but it’s worth it
When you feel like life has done something to you, it is easy to believe that you have nothing to be thankful for. But you always do. Everyone on this planet has something they take for granted. By being mindful of all of the good things in your life, you can remind yourself of how good you are and that things are getting better. Gratitude is a small way to take control of your mindset, and while this can be easier said than done, it’s always worth the hard work.
Photo from Prophsee Journals on Unsplash