Divorces are difficult, and regardless of whether the split is your idea or an amicable one, once the papers are signed, you may find yourself feeling lost and alone. One minute, you’re crying, and the next second, you’re angry, and you can also suddenly bounce from happiness to heartbreak. There’s ultimately a lot going on here, and basically, it feels like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster without a safety belt.
Go ahead and take some time to wallow in your emotions. You deserve it! After a few days, it’s time to start thinking about rediscovering yourself and moving forward after divorce. However, while this sounds great in theory, putting it into practice can be difficult, so here are a few tips to help you get started living your new, best life.
Some of these tips may seem silly, but go ahead and give them a try – who knows, you may come out feeling far better than you did before.
Take a deep breath
Going through a divorce is a process. In a way, you’re saying goodbye to an important chapter in your life. Depending on the length of your marriage, the majority of your life may have been spent with this person.
Take time to experience all of your emotions. Don’t keep them bottled up inside or ignore what you’re feeling. Cry when you need to, and scream when the feeling hits. Just be careful not to alarm your neighbours. Laugh and get angry – this is all perfectly natural to go through.
Don’t look at your divorce as a failure. Remember, it takes two people with an equal investment in the relationship for a marriage to work and, most importantly, to breathe. Take a few deep breaths while you remember both the good and bad times. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself relaxing and starting to think about what your future may look like.
Don’t focus on the past
Once the papers are signed and filed with the courts, your divorce is finalised. That’s it; you’re no longer married to your former spouse. Don’t concentrate on how you are going to address your ex to friends and family. You’ll figure it out in time.
Chances are, you and your former partner both made mistakes in your relationship. Instead of overanalyzing your role in the divorce, recognise and accept your mistakes, then put your divorce where it belongs. Your divorce is a part of your history, and this is where it should stay; don’t make it a part of your future.
If you are having trouble putting your divorce behind you, therapy and/or life coaching sessions may provide some help. You may also want to think about joining a support group for divorced individuals. Sometimes, being able to talk to others experiencing the same issues can help you put yours in the past.
Enjoy your new freedom
Okay, so don’t go overboard enjoying your freedom. For example, deciding to stay out every night bar-hopping Your newfound freedom can be exciting and liberating, but you also want to stay safe.
Start thinking about the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t do during your marriage. Maybe your spouse was against it, or your time was always spent taking care of your partner’s needs. A good tip is to create a list and start having fun. Go skydiving, take the road trip you always want to go on, or finally move to your dream destination.
Want to eat cereal in your pyjamas while watching a film about divorces? Go ahead; no one will mind. After all, it is now your life to enjoy however you want. Take advantage of the single life, and don’t be surprised when you realise you’re having fun.
Reach out to old friends
Marriages often mean losing touch with old friends. As a married couple, you have each other’s family taking up a lot of your free time, not to mention your spouse and even possibly your kids. Add in your job, and suddenly, there isn’t enough time to get together with your friends.
Even if you and your former spouse have children together, you still have more time on your hands. Instead of moping around and thinking about your divorce, reconnect with your friends. Sometimes, the best therapy after a divorce is spending time with friends you haven’t seen in ages. You can laugh, reminisce, and spend time making plans for future get-togethers.
Treat yourself to a makeover
How far you go with your makeover is entirely your decision. Changing your hairstyle or even colour can go a long way towards boosting your self-esteem. Going through a divorce can knock your self-esteem down a peg or more, and treating yourself to a makeover is a great way to start feeling better about yourself.
Ladies, you may even want to change up your makeup. Try a different shade of lipstick or indulge in some eyeliner. Oh, and don’t forget about your wardrobe; women and men alike often feel a little better when they have new fashion hanging in their closet.
After your makeover, take yourself out. Even if it’s only to the local café, show off your new look. Your self-esteem will thank you after you receive the first few compliments.
Consider dating again
Eventually, you may want to consider entering into another relationship. However, do not rush right into a committed relationship. Remember, you are just getting out of one, and there are plenty of available singles to meet.
Maybe you’ll meet someone fascinating on your travels. Let them show you around and even take you out to dinner. Keep your options open and enjoy the feeling of a new romance. However, keep in mind that you don’t want to confuse love with a rebound romance. This type of relationship rarely ends happily for anyone involved.
Rediscovering yourself after a divorce can be a fun experience
Going through a divorce is tough, no matter how long the marriage itself lasted or turbulent the divorce process itself may have been. You should also plan on taking some time out to carefully go through all of the emotions that are commonly associated with a divorce and process them properly
However, when you’re ready, get out there and start having fun. Along the way, you may also learn something about yourself.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.