Many experts and divorce coaches talk about “starting over” and “rediscovering yourself” after divorce. Starting a new hobby (or several) is a great way to do this because you’ll learn a lot about yourself and be able to meet people with similar interests. It’s important to meet new people and discover new personal attributes when you’re bouncing back from a divorce. It may also be a good idea to work on improving three categories of your life through new experiences: mind, body, and spirit. Finding one or more hobbies that accomplish this goal can get your “new” life off to a great start.
Freelance Writing: Stay sharp by writing. You can do this for profit or just for yourself, and any genre will work (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or any combination of these). It really depends on how willing you are to function outside of your comfort zone. By writing in two or more genres, you can stay comfortable with nonfiction if that’s more familiar while you explore the new world of fiction. No matter what you choose to write, you’ll be exercising your mind and nurturing your spirit with unique self-expression. To make this more interactive and meet people with similar interests, try joining a review group like Portal for some feedback and great conversation.
Music: By learning to read and write music or trying out a new instrument, you’ll be waking up your brain cells and getting creative. You can do this online in many cases, or if you’d like to make more of an investment, you can find a teacher and start taking lessons. To get a head start on learning music if you don’t already read it or to review, visit a site like musictheory.net. You can take advantage of free lessons, tools, and exercises to help you understand music well enough to start playing any instrument you choose.
Dancing: Take dance lessons to stay in shape, keep your heart healthy, and get rid of daily stress. Dancing is a great way to meet new people, get to know your body better, and exercise. You can try different types of dancing until you find one that appeals to you, then keep taking lessons to get better at it. Learning new steps also keeps your mind working, and you might find that you become more graceful in your everyday movements when muscle memory starts to develop.
Yoga: Get flexible and seriously de-stressed with yoga. Try going to a yoga class three times a week to meet new people, stretch your muscles, and get familiar with common positions. You can also buy a mat and some yoga DVDs, get some friends together, and schedule some yoga time every week at someone’s house.
Meditation: This can be done along with yoga for an experience that’s very healthy for both mind and body, or it can be a separate activity. Books and CDs or audio files are good ways to learn and practice meditation, and they’ll help you to relax and better understand yourself on a daily basis. Taking 20-30 minutes every day for meditation and self-reflection is great for your mental health and will keep you aware of your thoughts and feelings, making you more likely to reconnect with yourself.
Art: Drawing or painting can help you express thoughts and feelings that you may have been subverting. It’s also therapeutic to create something that doesn’t have to be judged objectively. Anyone can create art, so try looking up some local classes or simply pick up some supplies from a hobby store. You can get friends and neighbors to join you once a week for some group “art therapy” if you want to make this an interactive method of self-exploration. You might learn new and exciting things about each other that could solidify friendships and help you bond with the people around you.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education performing research surrounding online universities and their various program offerings. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.