Allow yourself space to go through the stages of grief
Surround yourself with supportive people
Communicate using facts, not feelings
Consider individual or joint therapy to help you process this tough time
Getting a divorce is possibly one of the most stressful events you’ll ever experience in your life. Even if the split is amicable, the process itself is challenging and will disrupt virtually every aspect of your life, from finances to living arrangements to parenting.
Taking the leap and initiating the process by asking for a divorce is sometimes the hardest part as it can be intimidating, in addition to the fact that it’s scary to venture into uncharted territory.
If you’re considering divorce, you’re not alone as available data shows that broken marriages are common in the United States. It’s estimated that nearly half of the first marriages end in divorce or separation.
There are many reasons couples get divorced, which may include;
Falling out of love
Lack of equality in the relationship
Lack of commitment
Even if getting a divorce is the healthiest option for you, it can still be a challenging process.
With that said, no two situations are the same but there are several helpful tips on how to start over after a divorce. Below are the top 5:
Top 5 Recommended Ways to Start Over After Divorce
Prioritize Self Care
The end of a marriage is painful, especially one that you were heavily invested in. For this reason, prioritizing self-care is a vital part of healing after divorce. It can be tempting to stop caring about your appearance or engage in behaviors like indulging in ice cream or alcohol every night. However, taking care of yourself should be a top priority as you aim to start over after a divorce, even if you’re low on motivation.
It is advisable to give yourself extra TLC and build habits that serve your mental and physical health. Habits become automatic behaviors, which means good habits will keep you going when your motivation is low.
Self-care can include basic things like getting enough rest, eating nutritious meals, exercising, staying hydrated, maintaining personal hygiene, and ensuring the area around you is clean and well-cared for. Indulgences like being pampered at a spa, massages, and eating a delicious dessert are also part of self-care that can help you heal from divorce.
Go Through the Stages of Grief
Experiencing negative emotions during this time is completely normal – in fact, it would be abnormal if you didn’t. The loss of your relationship is very much like a death and as such, there is a grieving process that you’ll move through as you heal after a divorce.
Grieving is a personal process, which means you need to give yourself space to go through it and allow yourself to feel the feelings as they come, without judgment, whatever they may be.
Although the stages of the breakup process are linear, grief isn’t linear, and neither are the stages of grieving. Stages of grief include shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, the upward turn, reconstruction, and finally, acceptance and hope. Remember that emotions are temporary and that you will get through this.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
The importance of having a strong support system cannot be understated during the healing process after a divorce. There is no better time to call in the troops to rally around you be it family members, friends, or trusted co-workers.
It is not uncommon to find that even your social group is in disarray due to the separation if you and your partner shared a lot of mutual friends. As such, to restart your life after the divorce, it may be necessary to make new friends. Consider joining groups that interest you based on your hobbies or take up new hobbies if you don’t already have them.
However, avoid using your new friends as a dumping ground to talk only about your divorce – that will get old.
You may also want to consider joining a support group with others going through divorce. With separation being common, there are many other people like you who are experiencing the same thing you’re going through right now that can guide you on how to heal from a divorce you most likely didn’t want.
Divorce is emotional and you’re likely going through many hurtful emotions. Although it may be tempting, Part of self-healing after a divorce is to avoid sending ranting text messages or ranting on phone calls to your spouse. Stick to the facts when you communicate with your soon-to-be ex to ensure communication is clear and concise.
Written communication can be helpful for this as you can keep a record of what was said, and it gives you a chance to think before you speak as well as edit before sending. You can even have a friend – or legal counsel – review messages before sending them if necessary to ensure that you’re sticking with the facts and not letting your emotions cloud your communication.
Seek Professional Help
Healing from a divorce is undoubtedly a heart-wrenching, challenging, and difficult process. Having support from a professional can create a huge shift. While there’s nothing that can make it a pleasant process, therapy can help make it much easier. Individual or joint therapy can be tremendously beneficial during this troubling time.
It can be difficult to move on after separation from your spouse. You may feel rejected, angry, hurt, or out of control. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The different strategies on how to heal from a divorce outlined in the article can help you cope with these challenging emotions.
Love Discovery Institute is an elite emotional and cognitive wellness center focusing on intimacy, relationships, and self-discovery. Bringing together South Florida’s leading professionals in the field, the institute incorporates a holistic approach to treating the mind, body, and soul through individual, adolescent, family, and couples therapy. For an appointment, please call 305-605-5683 or book through our online portal.