Going through a divorce is a painful and emotional experience. It is a significant loss that can lead to feelings of grief, hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, anger, and anxiety. Although it is a life-altering event, there are ways to cope and move forward after a divorce, and we are here to tell you how! You can come out of a divorce happy, healthy, and optimistic about your future by following the steps below.
Step 1: Acknowledge the Situation
The end of a marriage represents a loss. The relationship you thought you would have forever is over and you are left feeling uncertain about your life, your identity, and your future. It can be hard to accept, but it is important to recognize the reality of the situation. Often when people are in the uncertain turbulence of a separation/divorce, they engage in abnormal behaviors: hitting the bars, running out to find a new special friend, or trading in the minivan for that expensive sports car. This is a bad time to have another issue to deal with, so steer clear of these temptations! Be cool.
Step 2: Accept Your Emotions and Allow Yourself to Grieve
The unknown will make you feel a variety of difficult emotions. That’s ok! It is normal to struggle, and you need to give yourself time to grieve. It is also important to remember you are not alone. While you work through your emotions, reach out to your support system and maybe even consider seeking professional help. It is important to express how you are feeling in order to deal with and overcome your emotions. Divorce is one of the big stressors of life. Therapists are professionally trained to help you cope with this stress, so don’t be afraid to seek help. A therapist can see through the emotional aspects of the divorce and keep you on track to a bright future.
Step 3: Take Care of Yourself
Both your emotional and physical health are important, and you need to tend to each of them in order to find your new normal and rediscover happiness. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, and exercise. Listen to your body and treat it well. But hey, don’t forget to occasionally indulge in that slice of pizza!
Step 4: Look Forward and Don’t Dwell on the Past
Holding grudges and picking fights with your spouse will get you nowhere. Not only is it not productive but it also leads to more pain for your spouse, your children, and yourself. Remember that your divorce represents your decision to make a change and create a new beginning. Getting angry over past issues only hinders the healing process and prevents you from moving on. While everyone needs time to process a divorce, the quicker you can deal with the emotions and focus on the facts the quicker you can recover. In a divorce, you are forced to make analytical decisions during a very emotional time. Your attorney should help by showing you the pros and cons of the decisions and outlining the potential risks and rewards.
Step 5: Invest in Your Future
This may be the end of your relationship, but it is the beginning of your new life. Focus on the excitement and new opportunities that a fresh start brings. Try new things, explore your interests, and focus on doing what makes you happy. Take it slow! Many people feel that they must find someone right away, but now is a good time to reflect on your life, goals, and past. Enjoy this time of investing in yourself and in your future!