Welcome Mamas! If you are finding that you need some supports after experiencing a divorce, this is the space for you. As a mama who has experienced divorce, it is my goal to share the lessons I have learned with you so that you can step into your next season as the fierce, intelligent, beautiful, and happy woman you were meant to be! You do not have to do this alone. Your journey is valid and you are worthy of healing. So, sit back and relax as I reveal six key strategies that you can use to reclaim the joy that is rightfully yours!
Now, this first one was hard for me to do! As a Black woman, I thought it would mean I was weak and a failure. But let me tell you I was WRONG! Know that therapy will allow you to process your divorce with a trained expert who will help you to develop coping skills to manage the roller coaster of emotions you may feel such as anxiety, grief, denial, sadness, guilt, shock, anger, shame, or relief. Check out the following resources below to find a therapist who will work best for you.
- Therapy for Black Pittsburgh on Instagram (@therapyforblkpgh)
The second strategy is learning how to practice mindfulness, which is the ability to intentionally make space to stop and think about what you are thinking and feeling. Then, use that self-awareness to accept and be present in the moment so that you can determine what you need to do to be more successful. Specifically, pre-planning what you may need to do when managing the wave of emotions triggered by post-divorce experiences, memories, environments, people, situations, topics, routine changes, food, or smells that remind you of your former marriage. Practicing mindfulness will help you to be more in control so that you can move from mourning the death of your marriage to embracing your new beginning.
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation, which is a practice that is designed to calm and center your mind, body, and spirit. Now, how you choose to do this will be based on what works best for you— meaning there is no one way to meditate. You get to decide. You can choose to attend a meditation class, mediate at home, or outside. Some meditation tips are listed below:
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes per day. Increase the time as you see fit.
- Find a quiet spot where you can be comfortable.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Engage in slow and gentle stretching to prepare your body for meditation.
- Select a comfortable position (i.e., laying on a yoga mat, sitting crossed leg, kneeling, or sitting in a chair).
- If you find that you prefer to be constantly moving and not sitting in one position, that is ok too because meditation can also occur while moving. For example, you may decide that practicing yoga, Pilates, or walking while meditating works best for you.
- Play calm music, inspirational music, or sound healing music.
- Repeat a meaningful and powerful phrase or affirmation.
- Visualize a peaceful place or image that brings you joy.
- Scan your body from head to toe for tension.
- Practice breathwork to begin the process of releasing any tension or concerning emotions you may recognize while meditating.
As you begin to develop your practice, you will start to notice a decrease in tension, increase in memory, and an overall sense of calm. The best part about meditation is that once it becomes a habit (usually after about two to three months), you will be able to activate mini impromptu meditation experiences when those post-divorce triggers come knocking– at work, sitting in traffic, or when calming a frustrated child.
Breathwork is the practice of using various breathing techniques to calm your mind and body. It has the power to shift your energy by sending a message to your brain to reset and relax. It is key because it will help you to develop your ability to meditate and practice mindfulness at the same time! Not to mention it can be done anywhere, takes so little time, and delivers a big impact.
There are various ways to practice breathwork and one of them is listed below. It can be done whenever you begin to feel the weight of your divorce starting to consume you. Take a moment to try it and see how it makes you feel.
- Relax your feet, legs, arms, hands, neck, and face.
- Close your eyes and slowly breathe in through your nose, feeling your lungs fill and your belly expand.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat this routine five times.
Exercising will help you to find joy because it causes the brain to release “feel-good hormones” that can calm you when the challenges of bouncing back from a divorce become overwhelming. Once again, find what works best for you when it comes to applying these strategies. For example, you could do Yoga, Pilates, walk, run, dance, swim, or lift weights. Just be sure to move your body everyday—even if it is only for 10 minutes.
The final strategy is to give yourself time to heal in ways that will serve you well. Meaning despite your best efforts, you may have some moments when you find it difficult to resist the temptation to do things that will provide temporary relief but long lasting consequences (i.e. over eating, drinking, etc.). One thing in particular is that in your toughest moments, you might start to feel real thirsty…so thirsty that you are tempted to go back to drink the poison that caused your current predicament, or find a generic version of that poison in another person. Don’t do it girl!!!
Use the above strategies instead to help you heal and find joy once again. Joy is coming and when it does, you will look back on this time in your life and realize how temporary it was in the overall scheme of things in your life.
Wishing you peace, calm, and happiness beyond measure!