Someone once said that to move on after a relationship takes half the time you spent together. So, if you were in a one-year relationship, it’s okay if you take six months to wallow and reminisce.
Yet, that can be much harder to apply to divorce. The waiting period for getting over a marriage that quite possibly spanned the better part of a decade, probably longer, surely takes time. But, you can’t spend the next couple of years of your life feeling sorry for yourself, crying over the marriage that wasn’t meant to be.
Your only option is to find ways to get back up and land on your feet. We’re confident that you’ll find yourself again in your time. But, in the meantime, here are a few tips to help get you started.
1. Change Your Viewpoint
After you’ve been with your partner for so long, it’s natural to feel like you’ve strayed from who you are as an individual. So, after a divorce, you have to re-adjust the way you look at things.
Getting a divorce is no longer the stigma that it once was. Just because you’re not with someone doesn’t mean your life is empty or meaningless.
On the contrary, you can schedule more time to spend time with friends and family. In addition, you’ll notice that you have more freedom to choose new furniture and try out new recipes.
2. Learn from Setbacks
Setbacks are disheartening for anyone. Yet, they seem to be more caustic when you’re going through a divorce because, let’s face it, it’s a pretty painful stage of life. There’s no way to sugar-coat it.
But, you can teach yourself to make the most of each setback. For example, painful as it may be, you have to look at what went wrong in your relationship.
Don’t lay blame; simply lay out the facts. This way, you can use that anger and disappointment to understand what you want and don’t want in a relationship.
You can also take this time to work on your own insecurities and failings. As a result, you’ll move from feeling helpless and weak to feeling more empowered and capable.
3. Give Yourself Credit
As you pick up your life piece by piece, don’t fall into the bottomless pit of feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, be proud of all your hard work and how far you’ve come.
You may still not be at the point in your life where you’re making real progress, but you’ve taken plenty of positive steps forward. Celebrate those.
For example, give yourself credit if you’ve just made a phone call you’ve been dreading or learned how to do something that was previously your partner’s domain. Those little successes in your daily life should be valued and celebrated.
4. Be Grateful for What You Have
One way to land on your feet after a divorce is to count your blessings. Look around you at the things you have and the people who care for you. Register as many positives as you can to help you appreciate your life now just as it is.
Then, any time you begin to feel sorry for yourself, remember those moments when you felt unheard and unloved by your partner. You probably felt lonely and dejected.
Compare that with the support your friends and family give you. Even if you’re on your own, you now have the freedom to go out and make new friends. You can try volunteering, enrolling in a class, or simply becoming a more active member of your community.
5. Schedule Things to Look Forward To
After a divorce, you’ll find that you probably have more free time than before. You have to learn how to use that time wisely.
Don’t spend it all catching up on chores, work, and running errands. Instead, carve out some time for yourself each day–even if it’s just for five minutes.
Doing things that you enjoy, like gardening, painting, or just taking a walk, can help lower stress and anxiety. It can also brighten up your mood and add a bit of happiness to your day.
Other ideas include:
- Joining a book club
- Attend a local art gallery
- Go to a museum
- Host game night and invite a few friends over
Think of divorce as the end of one path and the start of a new one. But on this one, you’ll do most of the walking alone.
The trick is to not look at it as something scary. Instead, take this time to rediscover yourself and embark on a new adventure full of exciting possibilities.