Did you recently go through a divorce?
If so, you might be feeling sad, overwhelmed, angry, or any other number of challenging emotions.
There’s no arguing that life after a divorce is tough. But nothing is forever. Things will get better.
Especially if you take advantage of the following ways to facilitate your healing.
1. Be Good to Yourself
If your ideal day right now is staying in bed, binge-watching sad movies, and eating comfort (i.e. junk) food, you’re not alone in believing this is all you can handle. But at the end of the day, you’re going to feel much better if you focus on caring for yourself.
Engaging in the activities you once did pre-divorce may seem overwhelming. That’s okay. Start with a simple routine you can handle each day. Start with committing to a short walk and a healthy lunch, for instance. Or schedule a time to talk to a friend each day.
From there, you’ll develop momentum to start adding more healthy activities into your days.
2. Keep Moving Forward
How much time do you spend obsessing about your ex? Maybe you’re coming off a contentious child custody case and remember only the things you despised about the relationship. Or perhaps you’re lamenting the loss of love – thinking about all the things that could have been different.
Whatever the case, it’s not helping you get beyond your divorce and move forward. If your mind is perpetually in the past, you will miss the experiences of the present moment and continue to suffer. So make it a habit to catch yourself each time you’re resentful or reminiscing.
Focus on what’s next.
3. Ask for Help
If you’re often referred to as “a real trouper,” then you may feel that soldiering on is the way to recover from divorce. Chances are, you’ll be able to bottle up those feelings and put on a happy face. But only for so long.
At some point, they will surface. And when they do, they’ll be harder to handle than if you address them now.
Whatever you’re feeling, it’s legitimate. So don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members who have experienced the trauma of divorce. They’ve been there and can help you.
If you’re feeling low, find a qualified therapist who can help you through these hard times and give you tools for handling your new situation.
4. Keep Your Perspective
Consider everything that matters to you at this moment. It could be your kids, your job, your family, your creative project, etc. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you list five things each day for which you’re grateful.
By remembering the things you love and appreciate versus those that stir up resentment and anger, you’ll begin to see more and more of what’s positive in your life.
A failed marriage can feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. You can even take comfort in knowing that someday, you may look back on this experience and see exactly why it had to happen.
5. Try Something New
By going through the same motions you did before you were divorced, you run the risk of being constantly reminded of your spouse. So what about expanding your horizons a bit?
Is there an activity or a hobby that’s caught your interest, but you haven’t been able to tackle it? Now could be the time. Not only will you feel the satisfaction of gaining a new skill, but you may meet new people who share your interest along the way.
6. Lean on Healthy People
While healing from divorce, it’s important to remember that you may be extremely vulnerable. And while you love your friends and family, not all of them will understand this.
Many will offer advice in an attempt to help you. But they could be inadvertently offering tips for after a divorce that won’t help you move forward. So stick with the healthiest people in your life to help support you during this difficult transition.
7. Work on Forgiveness
Reconciling a breakup requires constant forgiveness.
This means you have to keep working to find forgiveness for your ex, as well as for yourself. When you find yourself feeling down on your ex or yourself, simply say aloud, “I forgive (name of your ex), and I forgive myself.”
It may feel like simply going through the motions at the beginning. But over time, the sheer act of doing it will start to sink in more fully.
8. Practice Patience
The reality is, getting over a divorce takes time. If you’re very lucky, it may only take weeks. For most though, it usually takes months or even years before you feel like you’ve closed that chapter of your life.
Whatever amount of time it takes, it’s okay. You’re not trying to compete with anybody else. Be patient with yourself and allow time for grieving and crying. This will be key in the healing process.
Again, a therapist can be incredibly helpful in situations where you feel like you just can’t handle it on your own. There’s no shame in that.
9. Be Open to What’s Next
Once you start to come out of the sadness and anger from your divorce, you may tend to believe that you’ll never love again.
This is a normal reaction.
You don’t need to rush into anything, of course. Just allow yourself to meet new people and see what comes of it. Such meetings don’t have to result in the next big love of your life.
But you may just find some new friends and another support system. And everybody can use that.
There Is Life After a Divorce
Don’t lose hope. Even though life after a divorce can look a lot different from what you’ve known, you will adjust and adapt.
Take heed of the above nine tips and eventually, you’ll find your stride again and be able to walk through your life with confidence.
And for more great articles on navigating life’s ups and downs, keep checking back with us.