After the initial shock of a divorce wears off, there are often feelings of relief and even happiness. Whether you were the one filing for divorce or if it was against you, life after a divorce can be full of new opportunities and experiences. While this time in your life will undoubtedly bring about many changes, it’s good to embrace them instead of letting them overwhelm you.
Embracing your new lifestyle after a divorce is one of the best ways to heal. It allows you to move on and start enjoying yourself. But it can be challenging to know where to start. After years of marriage, you can become so used to being part of a couple that you struggle to be single. To help you start your new journey, we’ve put together some of the best advice for recent divorcees on embracing their new life.
During your marriage, you’ll have probably gotten used to thinking as part of a couple. After a divorce, it’ll take some time to snap out of thinking “we’re doing that” and “we need to arrange this”. It’s a good idea to make a point to practice saying “I’m going to do this” and other “I” statements to embrace your new identity outside of your marriage. Making a habit of “I” statements will also help with post-divorce co-parents communication.
It’s also worth looking at things that you used to do and enjoy before your marriage. Often, individual hobbies and interests go on the back burner in a marriage — especially if you have kids. Now that you’re single, you can pick them back up and see if they still bring you joy. This not only helps you find things to keep you occupied when you need a distraction but helps you reconnect with who you were before marriage.
Focus On Your Health
After a divorce, it’s easy to slip into unhealthy habits. Cooking for one can be a painful reminder that your marriage is over, so ordering a takeaway becomes very tempting. While it’s always important to eat healthily and exercise regularly, it’s particularly important after a breakup.
A balanced diet and regular exercise are not only good for your physical health, but they can give a massive boost to your mental wellbeing, too. A recent study found that diet, exercise and sleep are integral to achieving and maintaining good mental health. This doesn’t mean that you need to be training for a marathon and shedding tonnes of weight.
Focusing on your health also allows you to meet new people. If you join the gym, there will be classes where you can meet people as your new single identity. The people you meet won’t know about your divorce, so you can forge a new identity and start a new chapter of your life.
Find New Experiences
Joining the gym might be a new experience for you, but there are plenty of other activities to find and enjoy. During a marriage, you’ll make democratic decisions about what you do, where you go on holiday and pretty much everything else. Now that you’re single, you can find new experiences and finally do things that you’ve always wanted to do.
Put together a bucket list of everything you want to do post-divorce. It could be anything from going skydiving, finally writing that book or pursuing a long-put-off passion. One of the most popular new experiences is travelling alone. With only yourself to look after, you can choose exactly where you want to go. It doesn’t need to be on the other side of the world; it might only be a few hours from home. But regardless of where it is, travelling is a great way to get away from reminders of your marriage.
If you do decide to pack your bags and go travelling, make sure you research where you want to go and assess the safety. Travelling on your own is an incredible experience, but you are more vulnerable when you are on your own.
Spend Time with Friends and Make New Ones
Friends are invaluable during a divorce, and they continue to be after the separation. Following your breakup, it can be tempting to hide away from your friends and family to avoid awkward conversations. It’s essential to make sure you continue seeing those you care about, and if you don’t want to discuss your divorce, just tell them — they’ll understand.
One big problem with divorce and separation is that you’ll have many friends that are close to both you and your ex-partner. This can put a strain on relationships as friends do their best not to take sides. While you’ll have a group of friends on your side, it’s a good idea to try and make new friends.
New friends will only know the new, single you, so what you say and do will be free from judgement. Such freedom can be liberating as it allows you to speak honestly about the situation, which helps you embrace your new, post-divorce life.