Few events can upend your life quite like the loss of something that you hold dear. This is one of the biggest factors that makes the divorce process tough and emotionally challenging—after spending years building a life with your spouse, you suddenly have to figure out how to untangle yourself from the other person. The good news is that there is, in fact, life after divorce. Here are some helpful tips to begin rebuilding in the aftermath of a painful loss or difficult split.
Regain Financial Footing
Restructuring your finances may be the most difficult part of disentangling from your ex. Begin establishing your own financial identity as soon as possible, from opening your own bank accounts and credit cards to liquidating shared debt. Your finalized divorce will resolve questions of who-gets-what and any support you might receive, but until then, develop a realistic budget that enables you to live on your own income. Enlist the help of a financial planner, if necessary.
Stabilize Your Children’s Routine
If you have children, their lives have been turned upside down by the divorce just as yours has. The sooner they can resume a sense of stability and routine, the easier it will be for all of you to recover. If the breakup includes moving and/or the children changing schools, try to navigate these changes as quickly as possible. Along the way, remember to take time to help the kids process their own feelings. Helping them obtain a sense of normalcy helps you regain normalcy as well.
Reclaim Your Personal Identity
While you’re dealing with all the details of rebuilding your outward life, don’t neglect your inner life. You’ve just been through a highly traumatic experience, and you need time and space to recover, whether it’s through counseling, a support group, prayer, reflection, journaling, or a combination of these. Invest time and energy on things that make you feel good—for example, a fitness program or a new hobby. Also, don’t be in a hurry to re-partner. Divorce can make you feel fragmented as a person, but remember that you were a whole single person before marrying. Give yourself time to become whole again, so you can approach your next relationship happy and healthy.
On your path to re-discovering yourself, take the opportunity to schedule time for self-care and purposeful activities that revitalize your spirit. There’s a reason that post-breakup makeovers and space-clearing activities are a “thing”! There’s a huge benefit to treating yourself—it’s a simple reminder that you are worthy and deserving of good things despite the gloom of your current situation.