By the time the final divorce papers are signed, most people are emotionally and mentally drained. While working with a family attorney makes the legal process easier, it can’t erase the emotional impact of separating from your spouse.
Whether getting divorced left you feeling worn down, depressed, or excited but unsure of what to do next, these tips can help you make the most of the new life that’s before you.
1. Take Time to Feel Sad
Even if you wanted the divorce or annulment, you’re likely to feel a sense of loss and maybe even a sense of failure along with it.
This is part of the grieving process, and you have to go through it to move forward. Allow yourself time to feel sad, talk about it with friends and family, and don’t feel guilty for grieving.
While it may not make sense on paper to feel sad about losing someone who wasn’t right for you, it’s perfectly normal to feel sad anyway. Just don’t get stuck there. Speak with a therapist if necessary so you can properly grieve and then move forward.
2. Be Proud of Yourself
Divorces can leave one or both people feeling insecure. Rather than letting all the self-criticism sink in, take time to be proud of yourself.
You made it through the divorce and are back out on your own. That alone is something to be proud of. Now, take some time alone to identify other aspects of your personality that you’re proud of.
Focus on those things—not what your ex-spouse said about you.
3. Do What You Love
Did you give up your favorite hobbies, vacation spots, or restaurants because your ex didn’t like them? Now is the time to pick them back up again.
Even if it’s something simple like going for a jog in the morning or buying season tickets to cheer on your favorite team, doing what you love again will help you feel like your old self and enjoy life in the process.
4. Decide What You Want
Near the end of a relationship, both sides tend to spend time attempting to make the other happy. Then, during the divorce, it’s about survival and keeping your head above water.
In both circumstances, doing what you want is typically off the table. Other things are vying for attention. Now that the divorce is over, you can consider what you want out of each day and what you want out of your life.
This is an excellent time to consider changing careers, going back to school, moving to the beach like you always wanted, or taking a month off for vacation. Use the divorce as an opportunity to recreate yourself in a way that makes you happy.
5. Be with Loved Ones
Surround yourself with positive people who you love and who love you back. These people could be your kids, friends, family members, or even colleagues.
After the toxicity of a divorce, being around positive and loving people can help you refocus on the joy in your life.
You Can Do This
You made it through the divorce. No matter how difficult it became, you did it, and now is the time to celebrate that achievement—and your new life.