Moving Forward, Single And Fabulous
The divorce papers are signed, you’ve either had a pity or a celebratory party. Although this can be terrifying, even in the best situations, let this be the blank canvas that you’ll paint your new life on, exactly as you want it.
It’s possible to heal, move forward and live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Keep in mind that not everyone feels the same about divorce. Some move ahead faster and others ponder over memories, toss between happiness and extreme sadness, and even go into depression.
The first thing I always advise my clients is self-care. Put yourself as number one during this time. Let your family and friends in to support you, exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, prioritize sleep and down time and continue, or get back into, hobbies you love. Talk therapy is
crucial during this time so use your support system as much as you can or hire a therapist or coach to have by your side. If your marriage caused any depth of trauma, talk therapy is #1.
Rediscover yourself. It’s very common that couples merge their interests and just as commonly, some of those interests don’t make the cut. What did you used to love doing before you met your partner and what have you dropped? When I was asked this question, the answer was getting out of the house to an actual gym. I used to only be able to workout from home and being in a different space, away from my daily life brought me rejuvenation. What are your passions, hobbies, and interests you’d like to rediscover or learn about?
Watch out for destructive habits such as alcohol, drugs, overeating, gambling or shopping to cope with the stress. Detaching yourself from others is another big one that happens. Now is not the time to hole up in your bed, binge watching TV, and not answer your worried friends. As mentioned above, talk with a therapist or coach if you find your destructive habits are consuming you. Changing the way you deal with stress will help you move on faster and in a healthier mindset.
Protect yourself from your ex (if the divorce was messy). You get to choose when and how you communicate. Do you prefer email, phone, or face to face? If you’re recovering from trauma, just hearing their voice can be a trigger. Email may work better for you. Maintaining distance from your ex at this time will allow healing to knit your heart back together and
a clear, fresh mind to move ahead without someone in the background interfering with this process.
Get out! Make a promise to yourself to join a new class, attend a book club, join a walking group, attend support group meetings, or just get out daily for errands. Meeting new people, getting into the social scene or simply seeing a friend for tea does the world of good.
One thing to remember is that it’s okay to be sad. To reminisce on the good memories and wish for them back. It’s also okay to not be ready to move forward just yet and to wallow productively. This means, acknowledge this major life event and feel all the feels but still make even the smallest attempts to paint on this canvas of your new life.