You have been through a lot this year. You’ve signed the divorce papers, found a new place to live, and the relationship you once had so much hope in has officially ended.
Maybe this sounds like your story, or maybe it’s much different – everyone’s divorce story is. But whether you were married for decades and share a family, you were married for months and it just didn’t work out, you feel heartbroken or you feel relieved, the same question looms for everyone… what now?
Here are five ways you can take care of yourself when navigating the aftermath of a divorce:
1) Grieve if you need to
You probably didn’t get married expecting that your relationship would end in divorce. Losing a life partner can be devastating and can take a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. Just as you would if someone passed away, you should allow yourself time to grieve.
Take some time away for yourself. Let yourself cry. Lean on your friends. Grieving is an important part of the end of a relationship and even if it hurts, it’s healthy to let yourself feel it fully.
2) Come to terms with your feelings
Between the chaos and life changes divorce can bring, it’s easy to get caught up and out of touch with how we really feel. Before you can begin healing and move on, you need to come to terms with any anger, sadness or other negative emotions you may feel.
Carrying the burden of unresolved feelings around will not only be taxing on your own emotional health, but it can negatively impact your relationships with others around you – especially if you share children with your new ex.
3) Begin to rediscover yourself
When we enter relationships, we reinvent ourselves and compromise bits of who we are as we begin to form a new identity with our partner by our side. On the flip side, we must rediscover our individual identities when we leave those relationships.
Is there a hobby you lost over the years? Are there friends you drifted from that you can reach out to?
Rediscovering ourselves is a challenging but rewarding process. Start by leaning on your friends and family, taking up new hobbies and keeping busy. Don’t be discouraged by the feeling that you’ve lost your identity—embrace it and explore who you are today.
4) Develop healthy habits and ditch the bad ones
When we’re sad, it’s easy to fall into our negative habits for comfort. This is the perfect time to do just the opposite. Step outside your comfort zone and start exercising more, eating healthier, sleeping longer and getting in touch with yourself. All of these positive behaviours will reward you physically and mentally, helping you to feel confident in yourself again.
5) Ask for help when you need it
There’s no shame in asking for help sometimes. Divorce can feel isolating, but you have a community of support around you that’s larger than you may realize. If you find yourself struggling to talk to family and friends about your struggle, try joining a support group or visiting a counsellor.
If divorce has left you feeling lost, we are here to help. We offer individual and family counselling to help navigate the challenges of ending a marriage. Call Your Counselling today or book online for a free consultation and get started on the path back to finding yourself.