Beating the Blues
That’s a double-edged sword.
I find that the times I struggle with feeling lonely occur in the days just after my kids are off to their dad’s. This only happens during summer when they are there for a week at a time, and the silence can be deafening. Faced with the clean slate of free time, I sometimes forget all the things I usually simply don’t have time to do. So here’s my list of solutions.
Keep an ongoing list. Mine’s in my phone and I add to it whenever I’m wishing I had the time to do whatever it is I can’t squeeze in at the moment. When I have down time, I go through the list so as not to waste this opportunity.
Reconnect. Most of my friends lead busy lives and have a hard time getting away. If I plan ahead a little, I can usually get some face time and catch up. I find that it’s a bit more real when I can sit down and have a face to face conversation with those I wish I could see more often.
Exercise. Loads of reasons but the endorphins to your brain alone are worth the effort.
Pick up a Hobby. If you have any musical talent or desire to have musical talent, dust off the high school band instrument and teach yourself to play something fun. I’m not even kidding–they have ukulele tabs for Metallica! I’m giggling just thinking about it! Music-making isn’t required–just pick up something you enjoyed that fell by the wayside while you were busy “adulting.”
Help a Sister Out! I learned a while back that I’m the last one to know when I’m OK. I can get so entrenched in fixing or solving one situation or another that it’s completely lost on me that I’ve picked up some helpful information in the process of moving on and the life experience that process provided. When I run into folks–and I don’t have to go looking–who are experiencing some variety of moving on, sometimes listening with an empathetic ear provides support. As people who are “moving on,” we don’t necessarily have answers, but empathy and experience are valuable commodities not everyone can share. Be a person who shows up for others walking the uncertain path you’ve navigated. It feels good to know someone else benefitted from your experience, and getting focused on helping someone takes the focus off of self.
Finding constructive ways to divert my energy in a positive direction helps me color with all the crayons in the box–not just the blue ones.