Dear KID-EASE: I am recently divorced and raising a toddler on my own. I exercise regularly, but my spirit seems to be depleted. How can I heal my emotions and stop feeling so negative?
KID-EASE: Dear Recently Divorced,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I know you are feeling terrible depleted spiritually and emotionally, yet you gathered strength to write and ask for help.
This is a huge first step.
I have many questions that are unanswered and I am curious to know your responses.
Do you share custody with your Ex? Does your Ex have time spent alone with your Toddler or is your Toddler too young for longer or overnight visits? I am assuming that your Toddler is too young for such a separation from you, the Mom.
Do you work? Do you have family and/or friends nearby? What are your passions (Make a vision board).
Do you belong to a center or worship that accompanies your faith?
Is there a Pre-School attached to your local place of worship or a community center like YMCA/YWCA that offers a “Mommy and me” or Toddler Gym Program?
How much downtime do you have in a week?
I feel you are wise enough to know that exercise really helps with a depressed and depleted mood. Do you exercise at home or at a gym or do walking while pushing a stroller?
It would be wonderful if you could take a Yoga class at a Community Center near your home to learn relaxation and breathing techniques to help you when you feel depleted.
If there is calming and soothing music, often New Age or World Music, listening may give you peace and serenity, I suggest that listening to music and breathing along with its rhythm would be beneficial. Try Chakra Music CDs like Eric Satie with Ocean Sounds or Tchaikovsky with Ocean Sounds… very relaxing.
Another helpful technique is reading some self-help books to guide your spirit (Hazelden has Page-a-Day are specific little books with affirmations and positive daily readings). Reading such material can hopefully elevate you spiritually on a daily basis and give you something to meditate upon, having friends or family if they are local may offer you some break time in your week, attending a newly divorced parenting group with a leader who is a therapist, social worker or coach is a source of support and friendships are key. How about finding a therapist who who could guide your through this tough time.
I feel what you are experiencing is an Adjustment Disorder with a Depressed Mood. This is a natural response to such a major change in your life and to the effort that it takes to raise a toddler alone.
The fact that you reached out and asked this question tells me that you are seeking answers and are open to suggestions. I commend you for your question and your ability to identify feelings and concerns.
I hope this response helped you – even just a little bit.
Write again if you wish.
Dr. Judy Bin-Nun PhD, LMFT, LPCC