These tips on how to take care of yourself after a divorce will help you adapt to your new life emotionally and spiritually. The first thing you need to do is learn what taking care of yourself means to you.
In Divorce Care: Hope, Help, and Healing During and After Your Divorce, Steve Grissom and Kathy Leonard offer daily devotions and reminders that will encourage, inspire, and bring you hope. One of the most important ways to take care of yourself after a divorce is to remind yourself how deeply you are loved and cared for. You are valuable, beautiful, smart, and wonderful. Allow yourself to see yourself the way God sees you – and love yourself the way He loves you. Deeply, wholly, and fully.
In Filing for Divorce? How to Prepare Yourself Emotionally, I describe several ways to take care of yourself before you get divorced. In this blog post, I share tips on how to take care of yourself after a divorce.
Interestingly, research on divorce shows that younger couples fare less well than older couples after a divorce. It’s possible that older people have learned how to take care of themselves, while younger people may feel the consequences of divorce more deeply. Older couples may also have children who are grown up, while younger couples may feel the impact of raising young children through a divorce. These divorce research findings were surprising, as researchers expected divorce to be less stressful for the younger generation, since divorce is more prevalent for them. Further, couples who get divorced experience a more rapid health decline than those who remain married.
This is why it’s so important to learn how to take care of yourself after a divorce! Protect your health, your state of mind, and your overall well-being.
How to Take Care of Yourself After a Divorce
The most important tip for taking care of yourself after getting divorced is knowing yourself. What calms you down and brings you peace? Who helps you feel accepting and sanguine about life? Where do you feel comfortable and happy? When do you feel most centered and focused? Thinking about these things will help you take care of yourself after a divorce.
More importantly, you need to do the things that help you feel good about your life. It’s one thing to know that, for instance, spending time with Rosie Leah makes you feel good. It’s a whole other thing to actually make time to have dinner with Rosie!
Make time to take care of your self
The healthiest people are those who spend time on self-care after a divorce. This means scheduling time to be with loved ones, attend divorce care support groups, travel, pursue your fitness goals, and start thinking about new hobbies and interests in your life. If you don’t actively make time to take care of yourself after a divorce, then you won’t heal as quickly.
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Learn about resilience
I’m reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Her chapter on resilience is particularly interesting to me because, after all, I’m the Bounce Back Babe! Maybe the reason I’ve survived so much is because I love reading about resilience, healing, and moving forward with life. I love self-help books.
One way to take care of yourself after a divorce is to accept and surrender, and perhaps even believe that God will use your divorce for good. While reading The Gifts of Imperfection, I wrote an article on how to make a life after divorce because of Brown’s insistence that spirituality is one of the main components of resilience. I believe this because spirituality changes how you see yourself in the world. I feel loved, cared for, secure, and watched over by God. I believe things happen for a reason, and God has my best interests at heart.
Spirituality is one of the best tips on how to take care of yourself after a divorce. Sometimes a crisis such as divorce is what you need to take you back to you spiritual side and reconnect with the activities, people, and places that keep you grounded and whole.
Explore why divorce is so difficult for you
I dreamed the other night that I had to tell Bruce I wanted a divorce. It was a painful, terrible, sad feeling – I felt as if my heart was being crushed. I couldn’t bear the thought of the pain I’d cause him, our families, and even the people who know us. I don’t know why I had that dream, because I’m happily married! And, I always thought I’d do a good job of taking care of myself after a divorce, so it wouldn’t be “such a big deal.”
Divorce wouldn’t be difficult for me because of what people think, but because of how they’d feel. I wouldn’t have a problem saying “I’m divorced”, but I hate the thought of causing people I love pain. If divorce is difficult for you (as it is for most people), it may help to think through the reasons it’s causing so much pain. You may then be able to cope with that pain better. For instance, if I was getting divorced I might write Bruce and other loved ones a letter, explaining my reasons and apologizing for the pain I was causing.
If divorce is difficult because of financial hardship, read How to Deal With Debt After Divorce. This is another tip on how to take care of yourself after a divorce: learn how to take care of the practical matters.
Focus on the things that are working for you
Learning how to take care of yourself after a divorce is about staying positive about what is working in your life. What is going well, and what do you cherish? That’s what you need to think about.
Find the silver lining in your marriage AND in your divorce. Sometimes the silver lining isn’t visible yet, such as the strength and compassion you’re developing for other people who will be divorcing in the future. Sometimes the silver lining is wrapped up in a black cloud, such as the full-time job you have to find to support yourself because your husband refuses to pay enough alimony or child support, and you discover that you love working.
I don’t know what your silver lining is, but I know life is better if you wrap yourself up in it. That’s how you take care of yourself after a divorce: you take care of the negative things, and focus on the positive.
How will you take care of yourself after a divorce? I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t give advice, but it may help you to share how you’re doing.
For more tips on how to take care of yourself, read How to Move on After a Divorce.
May you heal, grow, and even flourish after this divorce. May you move forward in peace and love, and rebuild your life. May you be happy, healthy, and whole.