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Have you recently divorced? If so, you are likely feeling overwhelmed, heartbroken, and sad. You’re not alone, as divorce is extremely common and brings with it a lot of stress. On some days, you might feel as though there’s no other side – that this divorce will define your life forever. That’s definitely not the case. While you might be going through a tough time now, the hardship that comes with divorce will end. In the meantime, here is how to cope with all that you’re going through.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer
Some people think they can go through the trials of a divorce without legal aid – that simply is not the case. A divorce lawyer has the legal know-how to guide you through the divorce in a way that fully protects you. Of course, if you’re still in the early stages of thinking about divorce, don’t rush, as hiring an attorney for divorce should take some time. You need to be on the same page as the attorney and see that they have good past experiences with their clients. A lawyer who specializes in divorces is always better than a general attorney.
Let Yourself Feel the Emotions
Are you feeling sad, angry, or confused? Perhaps you’re feeling a mixture of all three. In any case, let yourself feel them. You might want to bottle up your feelings and push through, but that will only lead to an eruption of emotions later down the line. If you want to cry, then cry. If you want to let out your anger, grab a friend and go paintballing to release all that built-up stress. It will help.
Protecting Your Kids
Are there children in the picture? If so, divorce becomes a lot more complicated. It’s not just yourself you must think about – you must also ensure your kids are well-protected throughout the process.
Ideally, you’re having an amicable divorce and can share custody. If not, you will need to consult a family lawyer to help navigate this difficult situation. It may also help to get your kids some therapy, especially if the divorce has hit them hard. Your children have big feelings, too, and they are likely to feel upset and confused about the divorce.
It’s Okay to Feel Okay
You’ve likely heard time and time again that divorce is one of the most stressful things a human being can go through. While that is undoubtedly true, some divorcees feel more relief than stress after a divorce. If that sounds like you, don’t fret – it’s okay to feel okay! It doesn’t mean you’re heartless; it just means you were more than ready for this divorce. Bear in mind that these contented feelings might not last forever, so don’t be surprised if the heartache of divorce hits you in a few months’ time. When that comes, you can deal with it, and until then, allow yourself to bask in these surprisingly calm emotions.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
You’ve just lost someone very close to you, and that can often feel like grieving. It’s best to surround yourself with your loved ones in these moments. Maybe take a trip to see your family. Or, schedule a city break to catch up with some old friends. Doing this will help you work through your emotions while feeling less lonely.
Some people come out of a divorce only to realize their spouse was their only friend. Don’t feel too bad if this sounds like you – it just means you gave a lot to one person. If you don’t have many people around you, now is the time to make some new friends! One of the best ways to make friends is to join a club. Find a club that does something that interests you, whether that’s reading, climbing, walking, or photography. Before long, you’ll have new people in your life to hang out with.
Try Keeping Things Amicable
Even if there is anger between you and your spouse, it’s always best to keep things amicable as much as you can. Fighting too much will only increase your stress, and words can get nasty during divorces – you don’t need that added to your plate. Treat your partner with respect, and if you struggle to keep things friendly, only see them when there is a friend or a lawyer present.
On the other side of the coin, also try not to be too personal with your spouse. While it’s good to treat each other with respect and even reminisce about the nice times you had together, getting too close may make the divorce hurt more. Keeping a reasonable distance is best here.
Do Something Just for You
When was the last time you did something for yourself? If your time in marriage mainly revolved around your ex-spouse, now is the time to regain your independence. Do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, whether finally visiting Paris or taking a much-needed bubble bath. Self-care is a must!
Discover a New Hobby
Hobbies allow you to engage in an activity you enjoy. Why not start a new one? After divorcing, you might feel you have a massive gap in your life, so fill it with things you want to do. There are tons of fun hobbies you could try – why not get into baking? If you’re not great in the kitchen, something adventurous like archery might be your calling. Whatever it is, allow yourself to get stuck in.
Secure Your Finances
One of the biggest stressors that comes with divorce is money matters. Divorce isn’t cheap, and both parties have to suffer this consequence. However, there are steps you can take to keep your finances in a stable position, even through a messy divorce. The most important thing is hiring an experienced divorce attorney. You should also take inventory of your assets, open an account just for you, and update your will.
Avoid Jumping into a New Relationship
You might feel lonely after a divorce – that is normal. However, try to avoid filling the gap with a brand-new relationship immediately. Now is the time to get to know yourself away from anyone else. You might discover things about yourself that may surprise you! Don’t worry; there’ll be plenty of time for dating later if that’s what you want.
Talk to a Therapist
Therapy is there for the most challenging points in your life, and that includes divorce. In fact, there are plenty of incredible divorce-focused therapists that can help you navigate your feelings. It might be scary to go to therapy (especially if you never have before), but you might just surprise yourself with how much it helps.
Look After Yourself Physically
Amid all the heartache, you will likely focus on healing yourself emotionally. That’s definitely good, but don’t forget about your physical health, too. After letting yourself cry, pick yourself back up again and look after your physical health by eating well and exercising. On a day you’re feeling up to it, batch-cook yourself a bunch of meals and then freeze them for the days you don’t feel like moving. That way, you can enjoy a home-cooked meal with minimal effort.
Create a Routine
Are you struggling to be a human while in the chaos that is divorce? That’s understandable. Your life has been turned upside down, after all. One of the best things you can do for yourself at this point is to create a brand-new routine and stick to it. Knowing what you’re doing day by day (and even hour by hour) will help you manage stress. It also helps to have new goals, even if they’re small. For example, one goal might be completing a single workout this week.
Don’t Turn to Alcohol
A glass of wine during an evening when you’re feeling overly stressed is fine. However, you want to avoid falling into the trap of relying on alcohol to combat your feelings. Alcohol is a depressant, so it will only make you feel worse, especially in the long run. Plus, if you drink too much, you’ll have to deal with the dreaded hangover. Basically, view alcohol as an occasional treat rather than a bandage.
A divorce is a major turning point in life. Suddenly, your future doesn’t look how it used to. What next? In the early days of divorce, it’s better to focus on whatever’s happening in the moment. However, once you’re through the first stages of divorce, it’s time to look ahead. Planning a new future can actually be very exciting! The world is your oyster; you could travel, start a new business, begin a creative endeavor, and much more. Your future is yours, so embrace it.
Remember: Divorce Doesn’t Mean Failure
Some people see getting a divorce as a failure, but that’s simply not true. While you went into the marriage expecting it to last forever, things can change quickly. Divorce is very common, and it simply means you have moved on to the next chapter in your life – which might be more fulfilling and more full of love than ever before. You don’t need to look back on your marriage as a failure, either – even though it didn’t last, you can still appreciate the good times you had together.