It’s both a fact and a cliche that divorce is of the most stressful human experiences. However, the period right after the divorce for most people is equally challenging. After the divorce papers have been signed and the marriage is officially and – in most cases – irreversibly over, a person finds themselves in a completely new set of circumstances. These circumstances may relate to their housing situation, financial status, or child custody arrangements. Likewise, a person’s social life and circle of friends will in many cases be markedly different after a divorce. Such changes may often seem sudden and dramatic and they take time to assimilate and adjust to.
If you are recently divorced, you may be experiencing similar feelings and situations. No matter if you were the party who initiated the divorce or if it was your partner’s idea, you may be unsure if you’ll be able to find happiness in your new situation. You can rest assured, however, that moving forward and adjusting to the “new normal” is not only possible – if you let it, it can actually become a very positive experience. In this article, we present 5 tips to help you move on with your life in a healthy and productive way.
Regardless of its circumstances, divorce represents a loss, and humans react to a loss with a cascade of complicated emotions. You may experience feelings of denial, anger, depression, and more. Some of them may be directed at your ex-partner, and others at yourself. Of course, experiencing such emotions is not normally pleasant. It is, however, an important step towards healing.
While you shouldn’t dwell on negative feelings, you also shouldn’t ignore every uncomfortable emotion that you are experiencing. Rather, you should work through them in order to make sure that you don’t carry any unnecessary emotional baggage into future relationships. If you struggle with the idea of working through your feelings or if you feel that you are not making any emotional progress, seeing a therapist may be what you need. If so, don’t ignore or feel embarrassed about it.
The right people make you feel safe, needed, and loved. They help you work through your feelings without trying to blame you for them. They also make you feel better about yourself and strengthen your self-esteem.
While some tend to isolate themselves after a divorce, the importance of spending time with family members and friends cannot be overstated. Venturing into a new life may seem scary, but a strong support system of people you trust and who make you feel better will help you overcome many challenges.
In the past, you may have neglected some of your passions, hobbies, and interests. Picking them up again may be a vital way of reconnecting with your old self and re-learning your personal core values. Likewise, trying a new hobby or learning a new skill can help you focus your thoughts and energy on something positive.
The idea of making new social connections after a divorce may seem overwhelming. Granted, it may be unhealthy to rush into a new romantic relationship right after a divorce, but this doesn’t mean that you have to become a social recluse and close yourself completely to meeting new people and developing new friendships. Expanding your social circles may infuse your life with new experiences and good energy. It may also help you find the right person once you decide to start dating again.
Eat properly, exercise, and look after your health. This will help you stay strong, active, and energetic, and will give you the strength to deal with the emotional impact of the divorce.
Last but not least, keep reminding yourself that when one door closes, another opens. This will help you view your new life after a divorce not as a challenge but rather as a new set of opportunities. You will embrace them faster if you remember to: work through your feelings, surround yourself with the right people, rediscover yourself, be social, and stay healthy.
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