Just like the seasons cycle through each year and bring new and exciting changes, we can create seasons in our lives. This summer season is the perfect time to start. With the beginning of the summer upon us, with its vitality and new growth, it’s the perfect time to seize the opportunity to ramp up your life after divorce.
Why Summer is Prime Time
There is something amazing about summer. Whether you get to take time off or not, you will always think about how you spent summers in your childhood. With the sun shining and everybody walking around in shorts and flip flops, it’s hard not to be happy. Particularly if you have kids, their enthusiasm for summer is contagious. So what better time to start the new season of your life?
Summer has a well-defined beginning and end but is long enough that you can make great strides in redesigning your life. From Memorial Day to Labor Day you’ve got 15 weeks to experiment with life after divorce. Even the doctor says you should do it! Dr. Kurt Smith, Clinical Director at Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, argues that picking up a new hobby can have countless benefits including lowering stress and increasing happiness.
Summer Season Goals for Success
Everybody has a different goal when they begin a new season in their lives. For some, it’s about settling on a new career path and for others it’s about improving family relationships. For you, it may be about learning to enjoy life after divorce. Sounds simple enough but how on earth do you go about doing that? There are a million and one different ways. Here a few for you to consider.
Lose Weight and Get Fit
Maybe your staple dinner of beer and pizza is beginning to take effect, or maybe you’re coming around to the idea that heart health really is important. Whichever is true for you, the summer season is a great time to get fit and/or lose weight.
Gyms can be hugely intimidating for a lot of guys but in the summer, you don’t need to bother with one. Avoid all the Hulk-esque body builders and instead opt for some time outdoors. The fresh air will do you good and the exercise will make you feel great (after you get over the aching part).
Most towns and cities have boot camp classes in local parks as well as adult recreational sports leagues. If you’re even remotely interested in getting fit, look into these programs. A quick google search is all you need to get started.
You might feel intimidated but you really shouldn’t. Boot camp is a hyped term for a (mostly) fun activity. The classes give you an opportunity to challenge yourself, but remember, you are choosing to be there. If you really feel like dying, you’re allowed to stop. You are in charge!
Likewise, it can be frightening to join a sports team when you haven’t competed since high school. Don’t panic. You aren’t signing up for Olympic trials. I once participated in a local soccer league playing for a team called Happy Hour. After every game we had a post-match beer to celebrate (wins or lose, there was cause to celebrate). There’s nothing intimidating about that.
The hardest part of getting fit is choosing to start. Get online, look around and send that introductory email or make a call. You won’t regret it.
Learn a New Skill
If sports aren’t your thing, figure out what is. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano or you’re guilty pleasure is Dancing with the Stars. This summer is the time to stop day dreaming and start practicing. Adults are no less capable than children of learning new skills, we just think we are. Trying to learn something new as a grown up is almost entirely mind over matter. Particularly if you’ve got a successful career, it can be scary to be a novice at something. But guess what? Everybody starts somewhere.
Again, get online and look around to see what’s in your area. The opportunities are endless: pottery, music, acting, dancing, language classes, cooking classes, anything! Dancing can be a good one for single guys. You may think you need a partner to sign up but you’d be wrong. Most studios have more women than men so as a guy you’d get double the practice for your class fee!
Meet New People
As you’ve probably noticed, all of these activities for your new season involve you getting out and meeting people. Kids on the playground have no problem running up to total strangers and saying, “Hi, do you want to be my friend?” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way for adults.
Joining a sports team, volunteering for a local charity, taking a class or even joining a book club are great ways to meet people and make friends. In this day and age, you rarely meet someone at a bar or a coffee shop. People either go with friends or they sit on their computers or phones so there’s very little opportunity for organic connection. By getting out of the house and going to a pre-organized activity you can recreate the playground environment without having to be so upfront about wanting friends.
Make the Effort to Be Sociable
Developing a new hobby or skill is the first part of your new season. The next part is making an effort. After a divorce, it’s very easy to retreat into yourself and choose your own company over spending time with others. It’s easier but it’s not good for you.
Part of this new season is accepting invitations. Over the first few weeks of summer you will naturally build relationships through your new activities. You slowly get to know about people’s personal lives and they get to know about yours. Eventually, they’ll ask you to watch the game with them or go out for a meal. Accept these invitations. Even if you’re apprehensive or you think you might not enjoy it, accept them. You will probably enjoy yourself and if you don’t, you’ve only lost a couple of hours.
One of the best parts of summer is the good weather and the longer evenings. Days feel longer and you don’t mind staying out later on a weeknight. During this new season, make an effort to get outside, even if you’re not going anywhere in particular. You’d be amazed at what a short walk and a bit of fresh air and sunshine can do for your mood. The key to enjoying life after divorce is to smile. And how could you not smile when you’re walking around a park watching little kids playing tee-ball or seeing the utter joy a puppy gets from chasing a ball?
Here’s to the Next Season of Your Life
Summer is a paradox – the days feel endless and weeks crawl by but by the time Labor Day comes around, you wonder what happened to your summer. If you’re ready for a new season in your life, be deliberate. This week, make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to try and pick a few things to dedicate yourself to this summer season. Any of your goals can be achieved through trying something new. You can make friends, become more outgoing, boost your self-confidence, learn to relax and many more. If you want to reconnect with old friends, invite them to a poker night or a camping trip.
Ultimately, you are in charge of your life. Enjoying life after divorce is entirely down to you and how you choose to approach it. Make this summer a season of positivity, growth and challenge and you can’t go far wrong.
Tell us about your plans for the summer in the comments below.
It’s never too late to seize a fresh start.
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