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Strategies for moving on after grey divorce

The topic of grey divorce is a popular one. Many focus on why it is becoming increasingly common, while others discuss its impact on the nest egg and retirement. Some hard truths may come to light, particularly when it comes to finances, but there is also the fact that newly single folks over 50 have the excitement of starting a new life, ideally one that will bring them a greater amount of happiness and satisfaction.

Younger couples who file for divorce are typically still in the thick of a life that involves raising a family and/or trying to achieve career goals. Older couples, on the other hand, may have already done those things, which leaves them freedom to go off in new and uncharted directions.

4 activities for creating the new you

Personal growth can move up the list of priorities if your grey divorce does not leave you with money concerns. Some activities recommended by psychologists and therapists include:

  1. Volunteer: Do this through your church or seek out a worthy non-profit organization. Perhaps you can provide tutoring to local kids, help out at the nearby nursing home or find some way to give back to the community. Parents are comfortable caring for family, and it's not a stretch to expand that scope to others. Studies also show that er and more connected to others.
  2. Exercise: Regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress and boost those endorphins. Depending on the workout and setting (such as a walking group, a spin class or other group activity), it can also be a great way to meet new people.
  3. Seek out old friends: Some good friendships get put on the back burner as people go through the hurly-burly of raising a family and working to support them. These can be people you only see on special occasions or ones that you lost track of after college or switching jobs. Call them and check-in or ask them out for coffee even if your intentions are not romantic.
  4. Travel: Medical advances have enabled us to live longer and have a better quality of life as we do. Perhaps a college semester abroad is still a cherished memory, but outside factors have limited travel in recent years. Organize trips with family and friends or follow through on a bucket list promise to visit a particular exotic spot you’ve always wanted to see firsthand.

Recapturing the spark

Psychologists report that some older clients have a hard time finding a suitable activity. In light of this, one psychologist recommends returning to an activity or interest that you were passionate about as a youth. This may also have the pleasing effect of coming full circle back to the person you were as a youth or younger adult, whether it is playing an instrument or riding bikes. Generally speaking, just make sure it something that brings happiness rather than frustration because chances are you will not beat your personal best from high school track & field.

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