By Susan Rosso
“What a lovely surprise to finally discover how un-lonely being alone can be” -Ellen Burstyn
I specialize in helping people live Happily-Ever-After their divorce or breakup. The question I am asked most often is, “How do I deal with the loneliness?” The reality is there isn’t anything quite like the gnawing empty feeling you experience after losing someone you love. It’s almost as if you’ve landed on another planet and you are looking for some signs of life and nourishment. And, unfortunately the life you’re looking for is your own.
So how do you find your life when the only life you’ve known was with someone else and now that someone else is gone? You might find yourself looking in the mirror asking, “Who am I? Where am I? And, how did I get here?” First things first. You have to go through the process of grieving. It’s a normal, natural process that will help you heal and help you get to the other side of loss.
Next you will have to pick up the pieces of your life and move on from this very point in which you find yourself standing. And, you do this by making choices that will help you move on sooner rather than later.
As you can imagine, being lonely seems to be intensified when you’re alone, especially when you aren’t used to it. But the truth is there are many people that are in relationships that are the loneliest people on earth.
When you find yourself alone after years of being with someone it’s a difficult and scary time because you may have forgotten who you are and you don’t know what to do with yourself.
But, the good news is you are about to embark on a journey into getting to know the best friend you will ever have, YOU! And once you discover yourself again you will actually begin to enjoy your alone time.
The truth is there are 100 ways to leave your loneliness behind, and here are five of the easiest things you can do to bring a little love, happiness and joy into your life.
1. Spend more time with the people who love you
Your family and friends are there to comfort you and they’re probably more fun than you remember them being since your life was so tied up with someone else. Go out, hang out, cookout, stay in, play cards, watch a movie, or whatever! Now, for those of you who are going to say, “But I don’t have any family or friends… it brings me to #2.
2. Volunteer your time
There isn’t anything that will get your mind off of your problems faster than when you “get out of yourself” and give your time to someone less fortunate than you. Number one, it makes you realize there are a lot of people who have it worse off than you. And, Number 2, there is nothing like the feeling of giving your time and love to someone who needs it. It’s truly a gift you give yourself.
3. Do something physical
Join a gym, go for a walk, take up a sport or play the one you used to. Climb a mountain, ride a horse or take a swim. Go for a bike ride, take a yoga class or learn Tai Chi. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something that gets you up and out.
4. Learn something new
Education broadens your mind, makes you more interesting to talk to and there is a never ending list of new things to learn about. You can go to museums, symphonies, plays, movies, read books on any topic you choose and find out what’s going on in the world; in past, present or future. Explore!
5. Know the truth of who you really are
Begin to understand that when everything leaves you what you have left is who you really are. It is what lives inside you; your soul, your spirit. When you can get in touch and tap into the power within you, you will realize that no matter what happens in your life this love, strength and inner wisdom will pull you through any adversity.
Plus, the best part is when you find your true self you can never be lonely again.
Remember, sad things happen to everyone at one time or another. People come and go in our lives. It’s all a part of our journey; to learn from and grow from. Just because your relationship is over, doesn’t mean your life is over. It’s only the beginning of a new chapter so make it a good one.
Susan Russo is an author and coach who has helped people from around the world move beyond heartache and pain after their breakup or divorce.