Fun? During divorce? It isn't just possible — it's necessary!
I can hear it now: "Are you crazy? Divorce isn't fun! It's painful, ugly and haaaaard! How could it ever possibly be fun?"
You're right. Few people would put 'divorce' and 'fun' in the same sentence, but I am ... so hear me out.
Now, I'm not saying your divorce is an amusement park-grade experience, but I am saying that you can choose to have fun during your divorce process—despite all of the very real drama surrounding it.
Afterall, if laughter truly is the best medicine, then having fun is the best prescription possible for surviving divorce.
To that end, here are 8 different ways to inject a little positivity into a frustrating time. (Pay particular attention to the ones that seem particularly wild to you—they're probably the ones that have a juicy message for you ... if you're willing to step in and experiment!)
1. Create an emotional playlist
Music helps. It helps SO much. So, create at least five new music playlists on your favorite portable device or online music channel. Fill them with music that resonates with you when you're feeling:
Five playlists, five emotional states. Whenever one of those emotions comes up, break out your playlist and DANCE! Stacatto, blues, electric, boppy, flowing—whatever helps you express these five basic emotions will help you to feel and heal. Let music help you flow and make friends with your emotions!
2. Get a pedicure
Guys, don't skip this one! If you have never had a pedicure, gentlemen, you are missing one of life's true delights. If a fancy spa is too intimidating (or costly), go to a walk-in nail joint. They're everywhere. Savor every moment and sensation—the massaging chair, warm water, the great foot and leg massage, and your new supple, smooth skin! You'll walk out grinning and feeling 10 pounds lighter (and no, you don't have to put color on your nails, fellas! But, hey! You could!).
Ladies, maybe a pedicure is nothing new for you. So, how can you enhance the experience? My favorite way is to pick a color that's as far away as possible from my usual reddish-pinkish-coralish choices. Looking at aquamarine toes for a week creates a sideways grin as I repeatedly remind myself whose (super cute, and super fun) feet I'm looking at!
3. Gift yourself an Impulse Day
Here's how it works—schedule a day when you don't have your kids or don't have to work (Can't commit to a full day? Try an "impulse hour".) Protect the day/time from any intrusions; plan nothing. Turn off your alarm clock, put away your phone, shut off your computer.
Now, in this moment, what do you feel motivated to do? Don't be surprised if an answer doesn't come to you immediately, or even 10 minutes later! We're so programmed, organized, scheduled and planned that we don't give much attention to what we really feel moved to do. So enjoy this conundrum. And then, do your best to move through your day asking yourself "what do I feel like doing now?"... and then do it!
4. Stretch your appreciation muscle
Here's the challenge: twice every day for a week, deliver an appreciation (verbally or written) to a different person; so, 14 appreciations delivered to 14 different people. Your child, your mother, your best friend, your work colleague, the grocery store cashier, the person who steps aside graciously as you rush down the block. How about your ex? Appreciating others feels so good. So pay attention to the kindness others show you and tell them about it.
And then enjoy people's responses (whether expressed out loud or simply through their body language) are an extra bonus treat.
5. Eat popcorn for breakfast
Or cereal for dinner, or ice cream for lunch or kale salad for all three meals a day. This isn't about eating food that's "bad" for you; it's about mixing up your routines and patterns, and having fun with what you eat.
Refer back to the "Gift yourself an impulse day" and ask, "What do I really feel like eating right now, regardless of what time of day it is, what I believe is good or bad for me, or what's in the fridge?" Your kids will love this one, too—perhaps consider starting a once a month "food goes crazy" day. How about purple pancakes or bright pink oatmeal (for dinner, of course)?
6. Chick-flick-football-Jackie-Chan-figure skating-baseball-cooking channel-extravaganza overdose
What do you love to watch on TV that your former spouse did not? Go crazy! Take a weekend and watch as much of the "forbidden" programming as you can tolerate. Stop when your grin turns into a grimace (that's the overdose alert point), but not one single moment before that!
7. Claim your bedroom
Even if you think you like it the way it is—paint it or redecorate it in someway. Go ultra-feminine. Go ultra-masculine. Go ultra-opposite of what it currently is. It's only paint and a few pillows, right? You can always change it.
Re-claim your most personal space as your own. If you can afford to take the redecoration further than just paint; great. But paint is something most people can afford, and as a bonus, the act of painting is very therapeutic!
8. Play an emotional orchestra
I'm going to end where I began, but with a variation. There's no such thing as too many ways of expressing your emotions during this time. Ranting, crying, screaming, whimpering—these are all great, but they get a little repetitive after a while ("Really? I'm punching pillows AGAIN?").
So, try this—express your emotions as if you are a musical instrument. (This suggestion works with or without actual music playing.) Play an angry electric guitar. Play a squeally piccolo. Play a mournful oboe. Play a determined trombone. Play a delighted flute or a raunchy saxophone. Run through as many instruments as you can think of, and play with your emotions as you conduct your very own orchestra.
Yes, divorce is still serious business—but, there's nothing that says you can't smile your way through the journey!