When your spouse dies, it’s difficult to think about being social again. Initially, you’re mourning and taking care of urgent matters. You’re learning how to function without your partner there to help with household chores and financial matters.
As time moves forward, your good days begin to out-number your bad days. There is less to do with settling your spouse’s estate and outstanding matters. There’s finally time for you.
Your support system may be strong and dependable. But you may also be wanting to start a new circle of friends that understand your loss or provide a fresh start without constantly being reminded of your deceased spouse.
Here are five ideas shared by my clients whose spouse died over the past year.
1- Join a support group for widows/widowers. Look at groups affiliated with hospitals, religious communities, and local agencies. Go to different meetings to find one you are comfortable with to share your feelings and concerns. While you may be ready to move forward, it can be challenging balancing times of sadness with new joys.
2- Sign-up for a yoga class or other fitness class to meet new people. A class will require you to commit on a regular basis. The benefit of a class is you can control how much interaction you want with others since the main focus is exercising. It’s an easy way to become social again without having to engage in long conversations.
3- Find an activity you enjoy and join a group. Larger cities have more options for a ski club, photography group, or age-specific activity group. Use MeetUp.com to find groups near your location. If those groups are not available in your area, then check with your community center or religious organizations.
4- Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about supporting. Through volunteer events, you’ll meet others who share the same passion. It’s a great way to give back while building new relationships.
5- Find a part-time job. Not for the money, but to help you meet new people. You’ll gradually build relationships with your coworkers while keeping busy with your time.
When you’re ready to be social again after the loss of your spouse, go at your own pace. Don’t let others push you into forming relationships you are not ready to start. It may take several attempts to find the right social activity for yourself, but keep persevering. Be patient and learn to enjoy the journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature, and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”