7 Helpful Tips For Getting Over A Divorce

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Unfortunately, many of us will experience divorce at some point in our lives. Perhaps it will happen only a few years after your marriage. Perhaps it will happen after a decade or more. But there are steps you can take to help get through the pain and come out a stronger person.

1. Lean on your support network

This one may go without saying, but it bears repeating! Depending on your personality and how much emotional pain you’re in, you may or may not want to surround yourself with lots of other people. But there is a power in vulnerability that opens the door to deeper connections with others. When you share what you’re going through, you may be amazed at how many other women will have already gone through the same thing and will be able to empathize with you. They can give you emotional support and a shoulder to cry on, and camaraderie.

If you feel you need more of a support network than you already have, reach out and try to build one. Perhaps a divorce recovery group or single mom’s group is right for you, or perhaps you can squeeze in a little time to try out a new hobby or volunteer or invite someone new to coffee.

2. Give your body the rest it needs

You will be more tired during this process. You could completely lose your appetite or find yourself eating more than usual. Give yourself permission to rest. If you can’t bear the thought of eating, be sure to try to get some nourishment in, even if it’s just nibbling on healthy food or sipping small protein shakes. Your body needs feel-good hormones as well. Did you know that women’s bodies produce a natural hormone called oxytocin when they socialize with other women? (Not to be confused with oxycodone…) 

Exercise will boost endorphins, too, even if a quick walk around the block is all you have time or energy for. And, forcing yourself to go outdoors for fresh air and sunshine can boost your mood as well.

3. Don’t jump right back into the dating game

Really. Give yourself time to heal. Give yourself time to decompress, to process what happened. If you jump right back into dating, you may not have learned important lessons. Don’t waste precious time and energy fishing around when you owe yourself the opportunity to step away from the turbulent world of dating to focus on yourself.

4. Release your anger for your ex-partner

You will need time to vent. And it’s ok to vent and express anger. But you don’t want to get stuck in it. By becoming bitter and vindictive, you’ll end up hurting yourself more than your ex. Even if he cheated on you, find a way to move past, rise above, and put him behind you. Of course, this may take some time. It’s vital, though, to try to not let his issues become your issues and define your self-perception and your future.

5. Spend time developing yourself through personal growth

Going through a divorce and recovery, as painful as it is, can be one of the greatest opportunities for personal growth, healing, and change in your life. You can come out a much, much stronger person on the other side, even if you feel at your weakest before that happens. Remind yourself of your strengths and successes by writing a list of even small good things you’ve done: smiling at a tired barista, remembering your mom’s birthday, friendships you’ve grown and maintained over time.

6. Enjoy the freedom of being single

Yes, divorce sucks. You’ll probably be lonely. You may lose friends and in-laws that you loved. But there can be peace and a sense of renewal to being on your own. You get to decide what to do after work, what to do on the weekends, what to spend your money on, what movie to watch. You don’t have to argue about those issues with someone else. 

There will be challenges, but you can enjoy some of them. Taking the opportunity to empower yourself and become more independent by learning to manage tasks he might have done in the past is rewarding.

7. Find go-to books for meditation and affirmations. It works, seriously

Short, daily meditation books can pack a powerful punch. And (ahem), they can be easy and quick to read in the bathroom if that’s all the time you have. Mark up the pages and sentences that speak to you the most. Go back to them again and again. Put up sticky notes here and there to remind yourself of what you’ve learned. One of my favorite tips of advice from a meditation book I still look at every day, even three years after separation, is this: I get to choose what I want to affirm. It’s human nature to affirm the negative in ourselves—but as long as we’re affirming something, why not affirm the positive instead of the negative?

Remember that you are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem. It will probably take time, but you can survive your divorce and come out as an even better person in the end.

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