You’ve signed the papers and it’s official, you’ve gotten a divorce. I know it might seem like this is the end of everything you know, and in a way, that’s true. It’s the end of the useless fights that end up so far from where they started. It’s the end of the feeling powerless. This seemingly beginning of the end is quite the opposite. It’s the end of the beginning, and now it’s time to ring in the next portion of your life with a positive attitude and new beginnings. These 5 steps will help you get past this roadblock and provide you with a foundation to starting fresh after a divorce.
- Perspective is Everything
My grandpa used to say, “You’re allowed to feel sorry for yourself for 10 minutes a day. After that, it’s time to move on”. As just a young teenager upset over something I can’t even remember, this just made me more upset.
However, as time went on I began to see truth in what he was saying. Bad things happen, but so do good things. The only reason why we understand the bad, or even terrible things being as such is because of the great things that happen to us. Yes, divorce is a tough time for anyone who is unlucky enough to go through the painstaking process, but at the end of it you’re completely free. Free from the turmoil of trying to be something you’re so clearly not. Rather than focusing on the past feelings that imprisoned you in sadness, focus on and embrace the freedom that lies before you.
- Take Time to Rediscover Yourself
Now that you don’t have to wake up every day constantly trying to focus on someone else’s happiness, take time to do what you enjoy doing. Whatever it might be, do it because you want to, not because you think it’s what other people want you to do. Think about it for a second; when’s the last time you did something purely for fun?
So many people get trapped in a routine of constantly trying to please their spouse when that was the furthest thing it was about when you said “I do”. Go hiking. Get back to the gym. Whatever you decide to do, as long as you’re doing it because it’s truly what you want to do, the divorce will fade into the background and you’ll begin to enjoy yourself again.
- Set a Goal
Just as you had goals for your marriage, have a goal for yourself now that you’re single again. Don’t do this right away. Take the time to think about what has happened and get an idea as to where you want to go from here. Embrace the freedom after divorce that lies in front of you. Figure out just what it is that you want to do with your time and set a specific, measurable, and timely goal.
This is probably the most important part: WRITE IT DOWN. Write it on your mirror, your phone, everything. Read it when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Tell someone that you know will keep you accountable and you’ll achieve whatever you put your mind to.
- Get Involved
As you discover things you enjoy, you’ll find other people feel the same way. Don’t isolate yourself. Get connected and involved with the community. Spending time with people in a positive environment will help you live in the present and forget about the struggles of your recent divorce.
Spend time with likeminded people and create new friendships that focus on the future. Doing this will further push the thoughts of your divorce on the backburner and gets you out there. The great thing about making new friends is that they enjoy your presence now…not what you used to have. They aren’t judging you because of your divorce, nor do they even have to know about it. If it comes up, it comes up but it won’t define who you are any longer.
- Give Yourself Time
Starting fresh after a divorce is much easier said than done. Separation hurts, but you’ll get through it and emerge stronger because of it. Don’t make hasty decisions that might lead you down the same path you just liberated yourself from. Give yourself time and take some time for yourself. Take time to reflect on everything you’ve been through and be better because of it rather than letting it define you.