Some people throw a party.
Some people throw a fit.
And some people are simply thrown for a loop.
Facing life on your own can be stressful and full of uncertainty.
You’ll need time to gather your thoughts, a willingness to assemble a support team, and the courage to redefine your future.
You will learn to throw out the old and embrace the new.
You will adjust.
Here are 10 ways to get started:
Modify your Mental State
1. Retain routines. Keep yourself grounded in some of your usual habits. This makes the multitude of transitions you’re making a bit more tolerable. A 180-degree turn away from your old life isn’t always necessary. As much as possible, eat well, sleep enough, and maintain familiar daily activities.
2. Scrutinize your self-talk. Give yourself a break. You didn’t plan to be divorced; expect a learning curve. Remind yourself that you are simply learning to make lemonade. Sometimes it’s sweet and sometimes it’s sour. Give yourself time to get it right.
3. Plan your peace. Intentionally spend time in peaceful reflection. You can practice meditation, journal, or take a 10-minute walk. It is important to avoid becoming overwhelmed; be in the moment, express gratitude, and consider the larger lessons of your life.
Prioritize Your People
4. Confide carefully. You definitely need support right now. Lean on shoulders. Talk it out. You’ll be better for it, as long as you choose trustworthy, non-judgmental people who want to be there for you. If you find your post-divorce friendships depleted, call a counselor or support group to secure the listening ear you need.
5. Schedule some socializing. Reconnect with old friends. Join a local community center for a class with others who share your interests. If you have kids, meet up with other single parents. Fill your social calendar; open yourself up to new people and perspectives.
6. Relate responsibly. You may want to jump right into another relationship. You may want to scan your ex’s Facebook page for clues to his or her life without you. You’re feelings are natural, but not the wisest course. Handle relationships carefully. Seek the guidance of a therapist to help you manage your emotions and set healthy relational boundaries.
Customize Your Life Choices
7. Ponder your passions and purpose. Why not see your divorce as an opportunity to reevaluate your career path or creative ventures? You don’t have to quit your job and start over, practical matters are still valid. Just give yourself the freedom to uncheck the “couple” box and think outside of it.
8. Decide to decide. Live your life in the present. Make decisions you put off when you were part of a couple, busy trying to hold the marriage together, or consumed in the divorce process. How do you want your home, family, and career to progress?
9. Make new memories. Snap a few pictures of you enjoying your new life with your kids, pets, or friends. Slide them in the frames, upload them to your social media pages, or keep them with you on your phone. Choose to see the positive and make it part of your daily life.
10. Don’t stay “stuck”. Sometimes, people need help making the adjustments divorce requires. This is all new. If you find yourself unable to move on, an experienced therapist can provide insight into your situation. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach for a hand to hold.
Divorce is life altering.
You don’t have to celebrate. Or fall apart.
For a while, you just need to breathe, take the first step, adjust, and repeat.