A divorce can be one of life’s most traumatic events, and moving on once the process has ended may seem impossible. However, there are steps that you can take to help you do this once the dust has settled. Use the guide below to support you as you begin this new chapter in your life.
Let Yourself Grieve If You Need To
Don’t underestimate the sense of sadness, loss, and anger that you may well be feeling in the wake of your divorce. It’s important to let yourself fully experience these emotions and accept and process them in order to be able to move on from them in the future. Give yourself plenty of space and time to do this, and be extra kind to yourself during this difficult part of the journey.
If your divorce has been especially difficult, then it could be beneficial to seek counseling to allow you to explore your emotions with support and find ways of working through them. Enlist family and close friends, too – be honest with them about how you’re feeling, and allow them to help you if you can.
There are many support groups (some online, some that offer in-person meetings) that are designed especially for those who are going through or have been through a divorce.
These sessions can be a great way of accessing support, making new friends, and getting advice. The legal requirements can vary, state by state, in terms of the divorce. Have a look at this source for more information on this, and a dedicated forum will likely be able to provide you with plenty of advice regarding this.
Communicating With Your Ex
The issue of communicating with your ex after a divorce is a tricky one, and every situation is likely to be different. In most cases, however, it is a good idea to have some clear boundaries in place when it comes to speaking with your ex-spouse. This protects both parties and will usually make it easier to move on.
Obviously, if you have children together, then some communication will be necessary. Try to keep phone calls or messages civil and to the point, and resist straying into any territory that is not directly connected with the issue at hand.
If things between the two of you are not acrimonious, it may be tempting to try to maintain a friendship: this is possible, but consider carefully whether this would serve you well; if instead, it could prove emotionally triggering, or make it difficult to move on with your life, then it is something that is best avoided.
Look After Yourself
A recent divorce may well have left you feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. Recognizing that you need self-nurturing and time to reconnect with yourself is vital during this period in your life. Making sure you take care of the basics, like eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, is even more important at this time.
Be mindful, too, that some behaviors may seem very tempting to deal with the stress and emotional fallout but are best avoided, such as drinking to excess, smoking, or spending time tracking your ex online via their social pages.
It can be a great idea to take up pursuits or hobbies that you used to enjoy that perhaps have slipped away over the years. Maybe you used to love attending dance classes or painting, or started a diploma in business studies at evening school that you never got round to finishing. Now could be the perfect time to pick a lost love back up again and reconnect with your interests and the things that used to bring you pleasure.
Date When You’re Ready
Only start dating when and if you feel ready. There may be some pressure to get back out there and into the dating world relatively quickly, but resist this until you feel that the time is right. Similarly, don’t be put off of meeting people by worries that it might raise a few eyebrows. You’ll know when it’s the right time to date again.
If, in the wake of your divorce, you’re now a single parent, it’s worth knowing that there are dating sites out there specifically designed for those singles who have children. Signing up to such a platform may be a good idea if you’re concerned about finding a new partner who will be understanding the unique challenges of dating when you have kids.
Seeking Professional Help
For many people, the trauma, anger, and sadness of the process of divorce can be difficult to work through and can have a long-term effect on their day-to-day lives, sometimes leading to depression or other difficulties.
Don’t feel ashamed if this is something that you are experiencing: it is a natural reaction to an extremely emotional set of circumstances. Seeking help is important if you believe you are depressed or are experiencing any symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other disorders.
A doctor, or another medical professional, will be able to support you in accessing the services you need to get things back on track again and start taking the first steps in your new life with confidence.