Going through a divorce feels like a rut you can’t get out of. Between the emotional turmoil, splitting of assets, and opening up to your loved ones about your struggles, it may feel like the process of a divorce is never-ending. Remember that this painful era of your life is temporary. Once you’re done going through the motions of a divorce, you have the power to move forward. Don’t just reclaim your life—reinvent it.
You may feel tempted to start dating right after your divorce. There is nothing wrong with moving on with your love life, but you need to give yourself time to recover from your divorce. Before you can give someone else your all, you must adjust to your new life. There is no set amount of time it takes to magically get over your former spouse and the process of a divorce, but when you are ready to move on, it will be the most rewarding feelings in the world.
You cannot grow if you do not give yourself time to grieve. Now is the time to allow yourself to experience and express sadness. Spend some time alone with yourself and come to terms with everything you’ve been put through these past few months. Understand that the reason your divorce is severely impacting you is that your marriage played a role in your identity. This does not mean that you no longer have an identity; it means that you now have the curiosity and willingness to identify with other parts of yourself. Picking up a new hobby is one way of expanding your identity and increasing your self-worth.
Learn to Rely on Yourself
One of the better aspects of a divorce is your new-found independence. When you were married, you divided responsibilities between you and your spouse. While this was an efficient way to save time, it’s best to become a jack-of-all-trades. After your divorce, you’ll find yourself doing the tasks you avoided during your marriage. Maybe your husband took care of all the car repairs. Perhaps your wife did all the cooking. Now you can be your own mechanic and your own chef. Being self-sufficient and knowledgeable in a variety of areas will give you more control of your life, and it’s a surefire way to build confidence.
Cultivate New Friendships
One of the worst effects of a divorce is the potential loss of friends. People who you have known since childhood might side with your ex. It’ll feel like there aren’t many people you can trust anymore, but none of this is your fault. You can’t control what others think about you, but you can control who has access to your life. Pay attention to who has been there for you during your divorce. Once you’ve finalized your divorce, you will have more time to make friends. Volunteer at your local pet shelter or hospital. Attend community events and interact with like-minded people. Putting yourself out there will help you build new connections.
Tie Up Loose Ends
Take care of all the responsibilities you’ve been pushing aside. If you and your spouse share any joint-accounts or are cosigners on each other’s credit cards, separate those accounts as soon as possible. Make sure you apply for your own health insurance coverage immediately because health insurance companies have strict deadlines. Share a parenting calendar with your former spouse so you can both set dates to spend quality time with your children. Rearrange your home and declutter it of anything that is associated with your ex.
You deserve to live a fulfilling life after all the exhausting situations you’ve endured. Taking these small steps will help you reinvent yourself in no time.