Whether your marriage lasted a few years or more than a decade, divorce will likely be a challenging time in your life. Preparing for the emotional consequences of the end of a marriage can help facilitate healthy adjustment to this new chapter.
Take these steps to care for yourself and thrive after divorce.
Process feelings of loss
Even when you made the decision to end the relationship, feeling sadness and regret is natural in a divorce. Instead of ignoring these emotions, let yourself experience the grief associated with this difficult period. Often, processing these feelings with support from close friends or a therapist can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Make time for yourself
Treat yourself well when you feel down, even if you are struggling with a busy schedule and new custody arrangements. Even a 60-minute yoga class, a walk around the block or a cup of coffee with a magazine can boost your spirits, especially if you make these treats part of your regular routine.
Connect with others
When you divorce, you may find that other relationships falter. If you primarily shared a social network with your spouse, those couple friends may not be your ideal companions after the split. Focus on finding friends who share your interests and building an identity as an individual.
Create a realistic budget
Many individuals accrue debt after divorce because they have difficulty living on one income when they previously had shared finances. Supporting two households is much more expensive than a single residence, so make sure you budget for this new lifestyle accordingly. If you fear an inability to support yourself financially after divorce, you may consider asking the court for spousal support. Often, temporary payments will give you the means to pursue education or job training.
Most of all, give yourself time. Many people report that it takes about a year to feel normal again and hit their stride after a marriage ends.