Divorce is not easy for anyone. Even those who divorce amicably typically struggle with emotional baggage. Bouncing back from divorce can be difficult, but there are some steps you can take that will help you get your life back on track.
Release the Idea That Your Life Is Over
There is a grieving process that goes along with the end of a marriage. When you got married you had plans and expectations of the type of lifestyle you would lead with your partner. It can be very hard to let go of those expectations, but if you want to move forward, and you should, you will have to work on getting past the idea that life is over.
It is true that the life that you had planned will not manifest, but that does not mean your life is over. You simply need to switch gears and get some new plans in place. Start by setting new goals for yourself. Start planning a different type of future. Even if you have to make plans for one day at a time, it can be healing to have a new plan.
Lean On Your Friends
It takes about one year to get through the divorce process, and it can be longer for couples that wind up in a trial. The process can be exhausting. It is important that you lean on your friends for comfort and support. Make it a point to gather with friends at least once a week to blow off steam and talk out your anxiety, fear, and sadness.
Having a good support system is essential to getting back on your feet emotionally. Do not make the mistake of thinking that no one cares about what you are going through; sometimes you have to reach out and ask for some support.
Spend More Time With Family
Now that you have some free time, it is a great time to reconnect with family members. How long has it been since you have seen your favorite cousin? What about lunch with your elderly aunt? How is your mom doing? Plan trips to see relatives you have not seen in a while. It will help you to reset your internal compass and remember all the good people you have in your life after a divorce.
Remember: You Are Not Alone
Divorce can feel like the ultimate failure, and it can make you feel very lonely. Keep in mind that you are not alone; there are a lot of people out there that have gone through what you are going through. The divorce rate sits at about 49% in the United States. The average age for a first divorce is 30.5 years for men and 29 years for women. There are people out there that can help you get through the process and start on the path to healing.
Join a social group for divorced people. If you have children, join a group for single parents. Get out there and find the support that you need to manage this transition in your life. Help is available, so take advantage of it.
Get to Know Yourself Again
Going through a divorce is very stressful, but that is not the only stress you have been dealing with. There was a period that was likely very bad that led up to the divorce where you put the things you love to do on hold. Reconnect with yourself and start doing all the things you used to love to do.
Pick up a new hobby. Try something new. Take a year of me-time before you start a new relationship. Get to know yourself again and figure out what you want to do with your spare time. It can be healing to take some time off from everything else for self-evaluation, and self-love.
Look at this time as the start of a new chapter in your life. You will get through this and your future will be bright.