The end of any relationship is a sad and emotional time. Getting divorced can feel like the end of the world.
Moreover, the process of untangling your life from your ex is stressful and exhausting.
And, it can get even more complicated if you have children and shared processions.
From negotiating who gets custody of the kids to agreeing to a quick divorce house sale - you may face making a range of decisions while simultaneously grieving your relationship.
The truth is, getting over a divorce isn’t always easy, even if you’re the one walking away.
Here are six things you can do to help make yourself feel better:
1. Avoid Blame
Nothing in life is forever - we grow and change. And, this means what once may have felt right, suddenly no longer does. But, pointing the finger of blame isn’t going to help your healing journey. In any partnership, there are always sides. Rather than looking back and dissecting what could’ve been, focus your energies on moving forward. This doesn’t mean that constructive reflexion shouldn’t happen. Try to accept that life will be different from now on and use the lessons learnt to help you shape a more positive future.
2. Look after Yourself
The stress of getting a divorce can play havoc with both your physical and mental health.
Take time to reconnect with who you are and start to practice self-care. Eat healthy food, increase your vegetable intake, avoid greasy fast foods, get early nights and limit alcohol and coffee. If you can’t face hitting the gym, go out every day for a walk, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
If you’re struggling to sleep, try using relaxation and meditation techniques. And stop late-night social media scrolling - it won’t make you feel better. Instead, turn off your phone and laptop at least an hour before bedtime to allow your mind time to unwind.
Grief and loss go hand-in-hand. When a relationship breaks down, you may feel like you’ve lost not only your ex but also any friends and family you both once shared (especially if they decide to take sides). Grief is not a linear process either. There will be days when you start to feel better and days when you don’t.
To start moving forward, allow yourself the time and space to mourn. Reach out and talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling. Join a support group where you can share your
experience with others in the same position.
To move past feelings of anger and resentment, you need to forgive. Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness does not mean brushing things under the carpet and forgetting about them. Instead, it’s an empowering tool to help you accept the situation and stop feeling like a victim, which will only trap you in the past.
Letting go may feel like a terrifying concept, so be gentle. Start by setting a time limit on how long you want to feel angry. Accept you can’t control everything in your life and focus on the things you can change like your health and fitness. Write a letter to your ex-partner or your future self, outlining your feelings and imagine a positive ending - you don’t need to post it.
5. Engage with Your Finances
However bad you’re feeling, don’t ignore your finances. Divorce can be expensive. Apart from covering legal fees, you may have to pay off your mortgage and other household expenses with suddenly only half an income. Calculate your monthly incomings and outgoings. If you can’t afford to pay them, seek financial advice to explore other options like downsizing your home or re-mortgaging.
6. Make Fun Plans
Don’t stare at an empty calendar, be proactive and create an action plan. This will go a long way in helping you feel in control over your life. Sure, there will always be moments when you feel lonely. But, by taking up a new hobby or planning a holiday with friends, you can take your mind off your divorce. And have things to look forward to and create opportunities for meeting new people.
Getting divorced doesn’t have to signal the end of your life. Approach it as an opportunity for new beginnings. Stay strong and patient, and remember: you got this.