Divorce is one of the most stressful events of a person’s life. It is a time of loss and pain. It is the death of the life you thought you would have, the death of your family unit as one. It is a time of grieving for those thoughts and dreams you had. Going through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) is the path to healing after divorce. There is no set time frame or order for these steps and each individual has their own path they will follow. Along this journey of renewal, it is also the time to show yourself the love you deserve from the person you most deserve it from… YOU!
Below are 6 Ways to Show Yourself Love During and After Divorce
1. Give yourself time to grieve: Although it might be tempting, try not to jump into another relationship right away. You are still raw and in need of time and space to feel your feelings. You will not yet be the person you will become after some time, reflection, deep thought and (hopefully) therapy who will then be better able to give your heart to someone else.
2. Take care of and be nice to yourself: Make sure you are eating healthy, going for regular checkups and exercising. Stay away from drugs or drinking too much. Laugh! Take that trip you have been thinking about. Seek out professional help. There are many professionals who specialize in all aspects of divorce including therapists, attorneys, and financial planners. You can also find a support group in your area for those going through the divorce process. As you are in this emotional upheaval, many women tend to neglect their physical and mental health which then can spiral out of control and cause even more self-loathing.
3. Declutter: A good house cleaning can be very therapeutic. On a weekend when your kids are with your ex, take the day and go room by room and de-clutter. Be careful not to throw out everything right away. Make 3 piles; Definitely Keep, Definitely Trash and Maybe. Wait a day or two to reconsider the Maybe pile. In a moment of anger, you might want to get rid of a memento that reminds you of your ex but is also something valuable to your kids that they might want to keep.
4. Nurture your friendships: Many women report they lose friendships after a divorce or their friendships change. While your married friends want to help you heal and are there for you, there are things they just might not be able to understand with what you are going through. It is a good idea to seek out others in similar situations with whom to foster new friendships. Making a new friend is a nice way to help yourself, and your new friend, heal.
5. Take yourself on a date: What kind of movies do you like? Have you tried that new restaurant that has the type of food your spouse didn’t like so you never went? Find a nice place with live music you like and go! Learn about yourself and what you enjoy again and then do what you like to do!
6. Forgive yourself: In order to heal you need to acknowledge that you are an imperfect human who has made mistakes and will continue to make new ones. Whether or not it was you who asked for the divorce, if you are at this point you are not the only one in the relationship who has led you here. If you can reflect on your part of what went wrong and own it, you are on the path to self-forgiveness and healing.