From countless verbal battles, exhausting legal processes to the emotional roller-coaster, a divorce can take a massive toll on your body, mind, and spirit.
The good news is that you can – and will- heal with time. Here are a few tips to optimize your recovery after divorce:
Allow yourself some time to grieve
Avoid getting stressed about having to pick up the pieces instantly, heal overnight, and move on. It is normal to grieve over the loss of your marriage, feel sad, exhausted, confused, fearful, or frustrated. It is also normal to feel anxious about your future. Recognize that these reactions and feelings are normal and that they will lessen with time.
While grief is normal in the adjustment period, it should not become a permanent resident in your heart. Set a limit and make a pact with yourself to let it go after a reasonable time.
Get professional help
At times, other things in your past can sometimes complicate your grief, which makes it harder for you to overcome the loss. If you find that your grief, anger, or anxiety are severely impacting your ability to function even after some months, consider talking to a therapist or a divorce coach.
Tap into multiple resources
From support groups, church programs to books, there are many resources that can help you gain a new perspective on your divorce and overcome your feelings of isolation or grief.
Think about who you were before the relationship, your goals, dreams, and talents. Maybe you always wanted to do something or go to a certain place that you never had the time for when married. Now is the perfect time to take up the art class, training, or the bucket-list trip. Touching base with who you are will help you find purpose in life and identify the steps to achieve your goals.
Expand your support network
With a divorce, one or both partners are likely to lose all or some of their couple friendships. While your family members’ support continues to be with you, it is important for you to cultivate new, positive friendships. Make efforts to expand your support network as trusted friends can support you effectively through the transition.
While it is easy to think of negatives, counting our blessings does not come naturally for most of us. According to actor and musician Willie Nelson his life turned around when he started counting his blessings. Try to think about all the things that you are grateful for, whether it is your parents, friends, your job, children or your health.
From getting a thorough health check to restarting an exercise routine, there are many things you can do to optimize your physical and mental well-being. Choosing nourishing foods, joining a gym, taking up meditation, or volunteering are some ways to build holistic health.
Read more: How to Stay Healthy During Divorce
Avoid jumping into new relationships
When you are just getting over a traumatic phase of your life and are emotionally vulnerable, it is important to heal completely before getting into another relationship. Rebound relationships are often an excuse to escape from loneliness and the pain of divorce. You may not be ready yet to put in the work and commitment needed to make the relationship work. When there are kids involved, it is particularly important to be practical and slow when it comes to dating post-divorce.
Beating yourself up for the mistakes you think you committed or cultivating the victim mentality are both non-productive. Instead of punishing yourself, practice self-forgiveness while holding yourself accountable.
Accountability applies to relationships, work, parenting, and other areas of life. Focus on:
- Developing mental fortitude
- enhancing self-esteem
- building strong positive relationships
- Respecting yourself
Celebrate being single
There are many perks to being single – right from the freedom to do what you want to do to not sharing your bathroom. Enjoy the newfound solitude while exploring your options. Start over and leverage new opportunities whether it is a new career path, academics or hobbies.