Getting divorced is a painful experience. It can leave you feeling like you’re still drowning under the weight of it long after your “case” has come to a close.
Do you feel like your divorce is over, but you haven’t truly begun to move on? This is common for many newly divorced women. But there comes a certain point when you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start your life over.
Starting anew after watching the life you had planned crumble to bits take a lot of effort on your part. This is especially true if you were not the one who wanted the marriage to end.
When it comes to knowing how to be or what to do after getting divorced, your attitude is everything.
Here are 5 important pieces of divorce advice about staying positive and looking forward instead of lingering on your pain.
1. Allow yourself time to grieve
After enduring a traumatic incident, such as the chilling process of divorce, many new singles make it their mission to move up and onward. This is a great goal to have, but don’t underestimate the grieving process.
Even if you don’t want to spend another minute thinking about your Ex, it’s still important to grieve your relationship with him*. Doing so will help you move on with your life.
Think of the good times you had with your Ex-husband and go over all of the things you are going to miss. Then move on to the emotions and memories that are leaving you feeling bitter, sad, or resentful. These memories may be hard to relive, but you cannot move on from your divorce until you have learned to process it and let go of the past.
Once you have let the past go, you can look back with only the positive lessons you learned as you work toward new goals in your life.
2. Plan something fun
Going through a separation or trial divorce is one of the most emotionally exhausting experiences any person can ever go through. There is so much waiting, fighting, finances spent, and emotions drained during this process.
Now that it’s over, it’s time to look forward to something positive for a change.
One great piece of divorce advice for creating a positive mindset is to start making plans. These can be big life plans or social engagements, so long as the result is that you have something to look forward to and can have fun. Some examples include:
- Rent a house in a new neighborhood
- Move to a new city
- Travel solo
- Get a new job
- Go back to school
- Volunteer with an organization whose mission turns you on!
- Move up the ranks in your current place of employment
- Travel with friends, family, or another divorced woman
- Learn how to play an instrument/speak another language
- Commit to doing something fun each week like attending live shows, making dinner dates, or joining a walking group each weekend
Whatever your dreams are, don’t hold back. Now is the time to make goals for yourself and pursue them with all of your heart.
3. Build an amazing support system
One solid piece of divorce advice that you should follow is to have a support system in place.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Your friends and family may know that you are Wonder Woman, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a shoulder to lean on every once in a while.
Your friends and family love you. Let them help you get through this difficult period in your life.
Not only will they be there for socializing, venting, and support with moving or other life changes, but research shows that receiving support from friends and family during a distressing life event (such as a divorce) can significantly lower psychological distress.
4. Start focusing on yourself
Do you even remember the person you were before you got married? What was that girl like? Who did she aspire to be and how much of her has gotten lost along the way?
One way you can stay positive after your divorce is by focusing on yourself for a change.
Odds are during your marriage you were fixated on either working, taking care of your partner’s needs, or raising children. But when was the last time you focused on your own desires?
Now is the time for you to take back control of your own life.
Start making exciting goals that you can work toward. Take classes, plan fun outings with friends, pick up old hobbies that used to bring you joy or make new ones. These are the things that will make you happy and remind you who you really are deep down.
5. Start taking care of yourself
Your personal health is a big part of staying positive after a divorce.
Exercise multiple times a week. Doctor’s recommend getting at least thirty minutes of exercise daily to maintain personal health and proper weight. Not only will getting active keep you feeling healthy, but it will also boost your confidence and release feel-good endorphins.
Keep the positivity flowing by eating better. Start cooking at home more often, and stay away from processed foods that can make you feel bloated or depressed.
Mindful meditation is another great way to promote positivity and self-care in your life. Studies show that meditation has been proven to reduce stress, boost your mood, and reduce anxiety-related behaviors, such as panic attacks.
When you practice mindful meditation, you focus on what’s really going on in your life without judgment or anger. You simply process the emotions and then learn to let them go.
The best post-divorce advice you could ever follow is to focus on self-care.
Practice positive meditations, and take control of your mindset. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for support during this trying time, and focus on your personal hobbies and health. The more you center your thoughts on the positive aspects of your life, the happier you will be.
Sylvia Smith a writer currently associated with Marriage.com, is a big believer in living consciously and encourages people to adopt its principles in their relationships. By taking purposeful and intentional action, Sylvia feels any relationship or marriage can be transformed and truly enjoyed.
*At SAS for Women, we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.