Building Your Own Community

One of the major struggles, during and after the divorce process, involves the feelings of isolation and loneliness we experience. In fact, these emotions are affecting many people in our community right now, even if we are living in a digitally enhanced age.

We are actually less connected today than we have been throughout most of human history… regardless of the fact that we may have thousands of “friends” on social media.
True, lasting, heart-felt connection develops over time and in person, face-to-face, and through long conversation, not through screens, posts, “likes” or on-line interactions. These superficial connections are surface level, unattached, and without depth.
Many people, from teens to the elderly, to us in the divorce community, are feeling a sustained and disturbing anxiety, isolation and loneliness that pervades and infects our lives every day. This disconnect leads to depression, sleep issues, higher substance abuse, over-eating, increased screen time, lower self-esteem, and fear.
Good old-fashioned remedies can cure this disconnectedness and lack of belonging. Here are a few suggestions.
  1. Volunteer to help in your community … Giving time, energy, or your knowledge, whether at a Food Pantry, soup kitchen, animal shelter, or teaching a class, joining Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, or countless other organizations… volunteer work connects you with others, and brings a sense of belonging with priceless feel-good qualities.
  2. Find a group that hikes, bikes, or runs or travels through your town, country, or the world.
  3. Join a historical society, garden club, cooking class, or book club, committing to ongoing education, new challenges, and growth with others.
  4. Join a church, spiritual group or personal growth group that is interested in healing and strengthening your connection to yourself, God, and all that exists that is larger than you.
  5. Make time for family, neighbors, co-workers, forgotten friends, and distant relatives. Make plans, show up, be engaged, truly focusing on these valuable people in your life.
The truth is, you don’t have to go through life lonely or isolated.
You have all that you need to create connectedness right where you are.
It’s going to take time and effort. (And occasional awkwardness.)
And that’s where the value is.


Denise Palmer


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