Tips for Thriving Without a Partner
For everyone – even people in an ideal relationship with a lifelong partner – there will be times when you are alone.
No, it is never easy to recover from the loss of a loving partner by your side, but you will. You will learn how to be very happy on your own. It is possible at any stage of life.
Those who have been divorced or separated from their spouse, or have not met that special someone yet also feel a sustained loss similar to a death. However, going solo can be an unexpected and fulfilling experience.
Below are important markers along your journey to finding happiness again:
Whether you are widowed or emerging from a breakup, you have to re-evaluate and assess where you are and take steps to move forward. If you were married and you have been off your game for a while, have neglected a stack of mail, been out of touch with friends, etc., start making progress one task at a time. If you have been left with papers and bills to handle, create a system, perhaps a digitized one to restore order. If your girlfriend or boyfriend left you, it is time to recognize and respect your self-worth. Consider getting into good physical shape with an improved diet and a schedule for training. You might even consider a professional reboot – anything that gets you focused on something constructive can help you move on. Remember, you are responsible for yourself. You have to take action.
Ease the throttle
While it is essential to take proactive measures, it is not wise to try to do it all at once. In some areas, you should throttle back. Aim for achieving a regular sleep schedule – stress often affects one’s ability to sleep well, and current research is finding the heightened negative side effects of insufficient sleep. Also, take a break while awake, you will think more clearly, have more energy and be prepared for the next steps, whatever they may be. Take a deep breath and get outdoors. Even a short walk is an excellent stress-reliever while providing moderate exercise. It is important to eat balanced meals, but you are human and that is not always possible. You may be tempted to indulge in junk food, alcohol and other drugs while in emotional pain, but this ultimately makes life harder. Try to include different colored items on your plate, which is an easy way to eat well.
If you are grieving, know that eventually, you will feel better
Grieving in the initial stages is terrible. You have to go through the experience of loss. Until then, expect to yo-yo between emotions. In time, you will get your health and strength back and find a reason to get out of bed each morning.
By Susan Alpert, author of "Driving Solo"