Your divorce process is winding down and coming to an end. It has felt like such a long, painful road. Now you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and wonder–Now what? Isn’t it supposed to get easier from here? Why am I still in pain?
Now is the time to start thinking about your divorce recovery journey. You have spent so long thinking about the divorce process–with all the planning, paperwork, and court appearances–that you may have neglected to think about what comes next.
Divorce recovery is a process, just like the divorce itself
And it will take time, effort, and patience. Just as there are many different types of divorce, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to divorce recovery.
16 tips to get you started on your divorce recovery journey:
(1) Give yourself permission to feel your feelings
Divorce is a loss, plain and simple. You are likely feeling a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, anxiety, relief, and confusion. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and give yourself time to grieve.
(2) Talk about your divorce
Find the right people who you can talk to without judgment. Finding the right supports to aid you in this divorce recovery journey is very important. While family members can be especially helpful during this time, it can be hard for them to be impartial. But, if you find the right people, talking about your divorce can help you process your emotions and start to move forward in your divorce recovery
(3) Practice Self-Care
During this time, it is very important that you focus on taking care of yourself. Schedule some “me time.” Set aside time during the week to relax and focus on your needs. Do things that make you happy. Maybe for you, this looks like reading, going for walks, taking classes, or getting a massage. Many of our clients also find it especially helpful to create or add some type of exercise routine, such as going for a walk, running, or practicing yoga. You will be amazed at how much self-care can improve your emotional wellbeing
(4) Create a new routine
You have likely spent months (or years) transitioning, figuring out housing, and adjusting your schedule around the initial challenges of divorce. In divorce recovery, it is important to focus on creating a new routine. Focus on your sleep health, create a regular exercise routine, set aside specific days and times to do the things that make you feel good. This will help give you a sense of stability during a time when everything else in your life may feel chaotic.
(5) Acknowledge that divorce recovery takes time
Divorce recovery is a process and it will take time, effort, and patience. There is no set timeline for how long it will take to recover from your divorce. Just as the healing process after a physical wound takes time, so does the healing process after an emotional wound.
(6) Remind yourself it’s okay not to have all the answers
At this stage in your life, do not stress or beat yourself up about not knowing everything. Divorce recovery is about learning and figuring out which decisions are best for you.
(7) Allow yourself to grieve.
Divorce is a loss, and it is normal to experience grief. Denying or suppressing your emotions will only prolong the process of recovery. In divorce recovery, it is important to allow yourself to grieve your very real loss.
(8) Help your children during their divorce recovery
While you are recovering from the divorce, they are too. Sometimes you will be surprised by their maturity. Other times they will be angry or sad–seemingly out of the blue. Sometimes they may want to talk about it. Other times, they will seem unapproachable. Here, it can be especially challenging to know what to do. Some easy suggestions are to read some applicable books, seek a children’s therapist, or look into other helpful resources for them.
(9) Seek a Parenting Coach
Sometimes you will have to have difficult conversations with your kids. Here it is important to know how to respect their boundaries. If they don’t want to talk, don’t make them!
Respecting their boundaries may feel especially difficult! In these circumstances, it is very helpful to have a parenting coach that can help you navigate the issues that crop up with parenting after divorce. Moshe is a Divorce and Parenting Coach who is here for you! He can coach you on how to navigate these difficult conversations, set your own boundaries, and respect your kids’ boundaries.
(10) Improve your diet
In the same way that improving your sleep health can go a long way, improving your diet can too. Life post-divorce can feel very chaotic. It may be tempting to just grab whatever is most convenient for lunch or dinner. This is a mistake! Various scientific studies discuss the importance of a proper diet for one’s mental health. Never downplay the effects of proper nutrition.
(11) Avoid too much alcohol
It may be tempting to drown your sorrows in liquor. However, too much alcohol will make it worse in the long run. Drinking a lot might make you feel better in the short term, but all it does is suppress your feelings– which will come back later. Drinking away the pain will only prolong your divorce recovery journey.
(12) Be mindful of who you confide in
It can be very tempting to confide in other family members. But it is very hard for them to be completely impartial. It can also place them in an uncomfortable position, where they feel like they have to get in the middle. Obviously, you don’t want to hide your thoughts and feelings–just be careful who you vent to.
(13) Do fun things alone
It can be very easy to seemingly lose yourself in a failing marriage–and applicable throughout the divorce process. It is important that you be able to be alone. Rediscover yourself! Remember the things you like about you.
(14) Do stuff with friends
While it is good to do fun things alone, connecting with close friends is also important. Spending time with friends can help you put things in perspective and remind you of the positive things in your life. Friends can also help you laugh and enjoy yourself, which is crucial for healing after a divorce.
(15) Don’t isolate–Talk to someone that understands
After your divorce is finalized you are likely fatigued–both emotionally and physically. You might have the urge to isolate yourself from the world. It is important to resist that urge!
While it is true that recharging and alone time are important, it can also be easy to isolate. Isolation easily gives way to depression, sadness, and worry–which you want to avoid. During this time, make sure to continue being open and honest with people you trust.
(16) Talk to a divorce coach
As a divorce coach, I provide a listening ear and guidance to help you through your divorce recovery process. I’ll help you make decisions about your future, and offer support as you adjust to this new chapter in your life.
If you’re feeling lost and need someone to talk to, contact me today. I’m here to help you through this tough time. Together, we can navigate the painful journey of divorce transition and head down the road toward divorce recovery.
For a free, 45-minute “Discovery Session,” please contact me at (240) 286-5487 or click the button below!