The Best Way to Get Back On Your Feet After Divorce

Get back on your feet
Susan Leigh
Susan Leigh

How do some people manage to bounce back after their divorce?

One reason may be that they have had time to get used to the idea, they perhaps even instigated proceedings, knew where they would be going, what they would be doing next.

Some people though, do seem better equipped to cope with negative experiences. How do they do that? Are they doing something differently?

What is the best way to get back on your feet after divorce?

Consider your perspective on life.

Two people can share the same everyday experience like a meal out or a cinema visit, yet have very different opinions afterwards.

Look at how you generally react to experiences. Do you tend to take things personally? Would you benefit from a more positive, resilient attitude?

Treat setbacks as valuable lessons, ways to do things differently, perhaps even better than before. Look at how and why your relationship failed; there are often lessons to be learned by both parties, after all, you loved each other once, didn’t you?

Hurt, disappointment, rejection can teach us important lessons, allow for the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, clarify what we want and don’t want from relationships and work on our own failings and insecurities.

Value what you have in life.

Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.

Before they divorce many people discover that the loneliest place on earth is to be in a loveless marriage where they feel increasingly unhappy. They discover that they’re much better off in a small rented place that is home than in a grand mansion where they feel unwanted and alone.

After a breakup many of us learn who are real friends are, who cares about us, who is loyal and in our corner.

Give yourself credit as you pick up the pieces of your life. Start small, making new friends, learning how to manage on your own.

In many relationships some jobs are yours, some your partner’s. Praise yourself when you make that difficult phone call, finish something you were dreading, learn something new. Value the small successes each day and credit yourself with each accomplishment.

Surround yourself with positive people and things. Accept offers of help and spend as much time as you can with supportive people, with people who understand how you’re feeling, want to help and yet are prepared to nudge you along

get back on your feet
Surround yourself with positive people and things

occasionally if they suspect you need it.

Find time for reflective interests. Learn to use your free time well.

If you live alone or have shared custody of children spend some of your alone time constructively; maybe reading a book, painting, spending time in the garden, walking in the countryside. Yes, catch up on chores but commit some time to yourself as well.

Spend time on your home. After a divorce it can be important to inject your personality into your surroundings, even if they’re only temporary or you’ve no spare money.

Use colour and textures to ensure it’s cozy, warm and welcoming. Invite people round for a coffee or supper and make your place feel homely and safe. It’s important to feel good about you home, for it to be a place you’re happy to spend time in, to be comfortable about returning to.

Schedule things ahead so you have something to look forward to.  Art galleries and museums often have shows that are free to attend, book clubs are often looking for new members, or simply take the initiative and invite friends round for an evening, a games night, a film viewing or supper.

Dark evenings especially can seem long and devoid of fun so get on mailing lists and organize trips with friends or colleagues.

Volunteering, charitable work, helping others can help you feel good, especially if you live on your own and find you have too much time on your hands. Simple things can help to turn your focus away from yourself, like learning to smile as you walk by, saying ‘hello’ to people first, interacting with other people, even if it feels alien and awkward to start with. Small steps all help to improve your mood.

Accept invitations, say ‘yes’ to opportunities and gradually have a go. This is a new start for you so after a period of healing, maybe therapy where you work on your confidence, negative patterns or demons, start to step out of your comfort zone. Being receptive to new ideas and opportunities adds potential for new direction to your life.

Use your divorce as an opportunity, a new beginning, a time to rediscover yourself. There is a saying that the ultimate revenge is indifference. As you become more positive about yourself and your new life you’ll find yourself increasingly indifferent to your ex. Your new found enthusiasm and quality of life is the best way to get back on your feet after divorce.

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples experiencing relationship difficulties to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.

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