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Divorce Help | November 18, 2017

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Survival Guide: Divorce Edition - Divorce Help

Survival Guide: Divorce Edition
Jessica Nowicki

When divorce is on the horizon, imagining your future can be impossible. Divorce can be very traumatic for families, and it’s tough to survive the roller-coaster and turn up unscathed on the other side. While it’s inevitable that you’ll endure some bumps and bruises along the way, we have tips that can make this time in your life a little easier – maybe even enjoyable!

1. Rest

Divorce is the second most stressful life event, following the death of a spouse. You’re exhausted. The fatigue can not only affect your mental and emotional state, but the condition of your health. Divorced and widowed people have a 20% higher chance of enduring chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Take time after your divorce to take it easy at work, curl up with a book, and set aside time specifically for leisure.

2. Mourn your loss

Your marriage was, at some point, the most important piece of your life. Its’ demise can feel like a death because you are losing an essential partnership you have had for all these years. It’s okay to grieve – be sad, reminisce about the good times and get real. It’s a crucial part of the process of acceptance and will put you on the road to recovery.

3. Get outta town!

Mark this change in your life with a vacation. At the end of your marriage you have likely been surrounded with a cloud of negativity, and it can be difficult to see the light once the divorce is over. Take time to clear your head – go to an exotic location (preferably not your honeymoon locale!) or to a place you have always wanted to go and enjoy yourself. Everyone travels differently – do what you like. Go rock climbing and skydiving if you’re an adrenaline junkie or just lay on the warm sand with a cocktail in your hand and enjoy your time alone with your thoughts.

4. Get outta denial, too

You may find you’re having a hard time accepting that your marriage is over, even after the papers have been signed. Denial is the first of many natural emotional stages that you will go through after your divorce – that means it’s also the fist that you will have to conquer. Once you begin to mature through on to shock, bargaining and letting go, you will finally accept the fate of your marriage and will be able to take advantage of the many doors and windows that have opened for you.

5. Rediscover yourself

Who were you before your wedding? Did you lose your identity throughout your marriage and progress with your ex only as a couple, while neglecting your own needs to grow? That’s totally normal – not healthy, but normal – and is arguably one of the primary reasons that many marriages do meet their fate.

Self-esteem often plummets after a divorce and feelings of inadequacy can cloud your mind, so finding hidden talents and taking part in hobbies that make you happy can help you start to rebuild yourself at the very core.

6. Get in shape

You’ve seen it – out of shape moms who turn into MILFs after their divorce. In truth, it’s not about revenge (although it will be nice to see the look on your ex’s face when he sees that you’ve been taking care of yourself) but it’s about redefining who you are and enjoying what you see when you look in the mirror. Your life is about you now.

7. Be alone – and enjoy it

If you’re in a hurry to couple up again you will miss your chance to find the true beauty in your divorce. In our changing society, older singles are more readily accepted than ever, and there are many opportunities for divorcees to enjoy the single life without feeling judged or pitied. Enjoy your time making new friends and attending different types of events without a significant other. Without being attached to another identity, you will further your own personal growth.

8. Create your dream home

If you’ve kept your home after the divorce you see traces of your ex everyday. And if you’ve moved, you’re probably like many other newly displaced divorcees who think it’s the end of the world when they need to change houses. Use this opportunity to remove flavors of your ex, and decorate just the way you like. Get those curtains your ex refused to have in your house. Create an elegant vanity or build a man-cave. Your home is where you need to feel at peace – make it your happy place.

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