The current spell of sunny, warm weather and the meadows and hedgerows burgeoning with May-time colours and smells are conducive to making us feel full of the joys of spring.
There is nothing that lifts the spirits more than a cornflower blue sky and balmy temperatures – if life is treating you well, that is. If you’re going through a traumatic divorce, you’re likely to be feeling miserable, lonely and not a little bit scared. Rather than being uplifted by the sunshine and spring flowers, you might feel even more depressed. Jolly pleasantries of “isn’t the weather wonderful?” serve only to underline the fact that while the weather might be lovely, life for you is not.
Seeing people making the most of the season – families enjoying a barbecue or couples canoodling in the park – can be like a knife in the heart.
The first thing I would say is that you shouldn’t feel guilty about not taking pleasure from the sunshine. You don’t need to play along with your neighbours’ exuberance.
Whatever the weather, though, there are things you can do to ease yourself through this difficult time:
- Be kind to yourself. This might sound trite, but it’s important that you listen to your body and your mood. If you’re tired, don’t force yourself to do the washing up or tidy the lounge – you can always do it tomorrow. If you don’t feel up to attending a friend’s birthday party, cry off. A true friend will understand
- Treat yourself. Buy yourself little rewards for getting through each day or week – even if it’s just a box of your favourite chocolates
- Take some regular exercise. Even a brisk walk can help release endorphins in the brain, which are naturally occurring mood enhancers
- Make plans. Making a list of things you’d like to do or places you’d like to visit can help you focus on a happier future
- Organise tasks. If you feel you are drifting through the days in a cloud of misery, set yourself a job to do when you’re at home to give you a focus. Maybe the bedroom needs redecorating or the windows could do with a clean. Achieving tasks, however small, can be extremely satisfying
- Enjoy your children. If your children live with you, take time to play with them or just be in their company. However bad your marriage turned out to be, something wonderful came out of it – your kids
- Give yourself a makeover. A new hairstyle or a new outfit can make you feel more confident about yourself
- Stay focused. Life might feel pretty dreadful right now, but in time it will get better – and possibly the best it’s ever been. You might find it hard to imagine being happy again, but you will be. There are many more glorious springs to come.