New Year, New Life
The New Year is typically a time for resolutions. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments, where we’ve come up short and what we want to improve upon in the coming year and beyond. While going through a divorce, starting out a New Year can be challenging, but it’s also an ideal time to get a fresh start. Here are some tips to help you rebuild your new life after divorce.
When you are going through a divorce, everything in your life changes. It can be a great opportunity to re-invent yourself. You get to decide which parts of the “old you” you want to leave behind and who you would like to be going forward. Maybe you want to get a new job or relocate to a different state. The possibilities are endless. A good place to start is to make a list of your goals. Once you have identified your goals, you need a strategic plan to accomplish them. If you already know what you have to do to get yourself there that’s great. If you don’t, you’ll want to reach out to people who can assist you in figuring out what steps need to be taken. Whether it’s a career coach, a real estate agent, or someone that you know who has the experience and knowledge that you can benefit from, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Give yourself reasonable time to achieve your goals and be willing to cut yourself some slack. Most importantly, keep your eye on the ball and don’t give up!
Be Present For Your Children
During divorce, a lot of emotions are at play and can rob you of your ability to be present in your life. If you’re feeling guilty about the divorce or sad about not being able to do all of the things that you did together as a family, strive to create new traditions and look for ways to have fun with your child and stay connected
Take Good Care of Yourself
Your health is critical. If you have been avoiding exercising and not eating well, make a promise to yourself to do better in the new year. Join a gym, learn to meditate, make a plan to walk after dinner, and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Maybe start to meal prep or look for ways to make it easier and fun for you to eat healthier. The key is to introduce new habits that serve your goals for your new future.
Get Your Finances in Order
During and after the divorce process, your finances are going to drastically change. You probably have lawyer bills to pay off or other debt that you may not have had before. Whatever your circumstances, you now have less disposable income as a single person than you did as a couple and you’ll need to adjust spending habits. The best thing you can do is to make a budget. Figure out what your expenses are and how those correlate with your income. This will show you exactly where your money is going and what you have to do to make sure your obligations are met.
Cultivate New Friends
Your newly single life offers you a great chance to meet new people and form new relationships. Finding groups of people who share your hobbies or interests, participating in community activities, or volunteering are all good ways to branch out and form new, meaningful connections.
Get the Support You Need
Divorce can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. The combination of these emotions and the loneliness that can come with being newly single can lead to depression. If you are struggling with your grief and negative emotions, do not be afraid to seek help from a therapist. Investigate online divorce support groups, or reach out to friends and family for emotional support. Try very hard to resist the desire to self-isolate.
Forgiving is never easy. Though it may be the hardest part of building your new life after divorce, it’s probably the most important. Carrying around anger and resentment against your ex only hurts you. It makes you unhappy and upset. If you hang on to it for too long, you can become bitter and experience difficulty opening yourself up to new relationships. It’s like wearing a backpack of rocks that weighs you down and eventually exhausts you. Work through your anger step by step, releasing negative feelings to forgive your ex, the friends you’ve lost and even yourself.
After a litigious divorce, some people even experience anger against an ex’s lawyer, the court system and the Judge. If you are at the beginning of the divorce journey, there are process options that you can choose that will greatly diminish the emotional distress. Collaborative divorce, mediation, and negotiated settlement are all healthy and positive alternatives to adversarial litigation that foster an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect.