Divorce can be incredibly difficult; stepping forward and creating your new life can feel like an insurmountable task.
For the benefit of your emotional and physical well-being however, it’s vital not to get stuck in the divorce rut, where you could spend years lamenting the injustice of your divorce or regretting the loss of your marriage.
Divorce, however horrendous, is not an experience that will be in your life forever. The sooner you can move forward with your new life, the less debilitating on your well-being, the effects of the divorce will be.
Easier said than done?
The key to this conundrum is baby steps, start small and don’t feel pressured to “get over it” or “recreate yourself”. Nobody is suggesting that setting yourself goals such as leaping out of an aeroplane or scaling Mount Everest; losing half of your body weight or shaving your head, will provide the illusive cure to your divorce woes. Instead, take a look at some of the points below and see what appeals to you. Even taking one of them and enacting it, is you “Stepping Forward” and embracing the future.
1) Life is a Marathon not a Sprint.
Divorce is a hurdle you need to get over but once you do, there will be a shiny, new life awaiting you.
Actively recognising this as an irrefutable fact, is your first step.
2) We Are all a Work In Progress.
Accept that you will not have all the answers immediately. Some things you will have to learn as you go along.
Be OK with that.
It might help to figure out what you need answers to – make a list if that helps you.
3) Don’t Feel the Pressure
Divorce is painful, it’s OK to acknowledge that and feel it.
Pressure to move on and get over it can be huge but remember that when you are ready, you will take the steps and if you are not ready, then, wait a while.
4) Focus on What You Have
Personally, I find the continual advice to keep a gratitude journal and be grateful, enormously annoying but there is some merit in the principal behind it….focusing on what we have and what we appreciate, such as family, friends, career, skills and so on, can make us feel better.
A lot will change but NOT everything.
Be aware of what you have and build from there.
5) Set Small Goals
This step is about building your confidence.
Celebrate every achievement however small.
For me, it was starting the petrol mower and cutting the grass; for a friend it was doing his six year old daughter’s hair for the first time.
6) Stay Healthy
It is standard advice but keeping an eye on what you eat and drink (!) will serve you well. Comfort eating and hitting the bottle will not make you feel better.
Of course, the natural endorphins created by exercise are a resource you can easily call on now.
Even changing just one eating habit and taking a walk every day is a step in the right direction
7) Learn to Love You
Divorce makes us question every aspect of ourselves; usually negatively. However, whilst you are there, how about taking a look at what you really like about yourself? What do you want to keep or build on? Maybe there is a part of you that has been suppressed during your marriage? Again, if you like a list; put all of your positives on it.
8) Learn Your Likes and Dislikes as a Single Person and Embrace Them
You don’t have to compromise now. What do you really like to do, to eat, to see, to listen too?
The world truly is your oyster.
A bigger step but going somewhere that appeals to you, alone, or with your family or friends can be a huge confidence booster.
Travelling can seem something you do as a couple. It doesn’t have to be.
As your divorce progresses. Social interaction and getting back out there will become more and more important.
Attending events on your own may seem daunting but choose the right event and the right company and you will find that you were worried about nothing.
Are you in the market for a second (or third?) act?
When you are ready, dating is the ultimate confidence booster.
It is the light at the end of the tunnel, that show’s you there is life after divorce.
As my grandmother used to say: “Every pot has it’s lid”
Get out there and find yours.
Stepping forward is not really a choice. You have to move on. As Ed Cole stated;
“You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there”