There’s nothing like a new year to dust off the cobwebs and reinvent yourself and aspects of your life. This is no truer than in the period after a divorce.
Every divorce story is different, but regardless of how long you were married, how old you are, whether you’re a man or a woman, and whether or not you are heartbroken by recent events, the question remains: “where do I go from here?”
The key is to ensure you don’t get stuck in a post-divorce rut. You need to move on and start again, actively choosing happiness for the future.
Happiness isn’t something just some of us are blessed with – it is a choice we make every single day. Some people can find happiness in small things even in the midst of disaster; other people are never happy no matter how good their life is.
Here are some tips for starting again after divorce:
- Allow yourself to mourn, but don’t fall into the well of “woe is me”. Yes, separation is a loss, and you do need to grieve it, but you can’t start again while you dwell on it and wallow in self pity. Unless your separation is very new, commit to the New Year with an attitude of gratitude for all that’s good in your life and the possibilities ahead.
- Work through your emotions, with professional help if necessary. Even speaking to a psychologist or counsellor for just a couple of sessions can be incredibly beneficial to your healing process.
- Release your antagonism towards your ex. It does not serve you.
- Accept that your financial status has changed and that, if you don’t currently work, you’ll probably need to get a job. Employment can open up a whole new social scene and range of opportunities.
- Rediscover who you really are. As in, who you used to be. What were your personal aspirations? What did you love doing in the past as a single person? Revisit these.
- Learn to love who you are. Divorce can be a sledgehammer to your self-esteem. Work to consciously appreciate yourself for all your individual qualities, and spend time with family and friends who make you feel great about yourself.
- Shake things up. Buy some new clothes. Get a new hairstyle. Explore a new hobby. Even if you have children, your new status as a single person carries with it certain freedoms you’ve not had access to for a long time. Embrace them.
- Enjoy your own company. There are many pluses to being alone.
- Don’t rebound into another relationship, or into careless casual sex. But do, when you are ready and comfortable, be open to dating and meeting new people. Eventually you will possibly be ready for a new relationship, but now is the time to build friendships and have some fun without strings attached.
Divorce and separation, while not something any of us signs up for when we marry, can be a blessing in disguise in many ways. It’s an opportunity to completely change the direction of your life, focusing on your future and who you are at your core – as well as whom you want to be. Look at the New Year as an opportunity for a whole new and exciting beginning. The best is yet to come.
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