Divorce shakes up the foundation of your existence. Just as a house is not rebuilt overnight after an earthquake, neither is your life after parting ways with your spouse. Putting the pieces back together or starting totally anew takes some time. You can feel immobilized and not know what step to take next. Some have described themselves as floating along during divorce proceedings as if on automatic pilot.
Get grounded. Qigong and Tai Chi (forms of martial arts) increased my energy and being able to focus on tasks. Meditation and yoga help quiet the mind when thoughts are scattered and concentration is needed.
Part of recovering – whether from an illness or trauma – is taking care of oneself. Get adequate sleep, intake of protein, nutritious food, such as green vegetables. Check with your healthcare provider regarding adding supplements to your diet. B-Vitamins are depleted by stress, so I took them regularly. I also included supplements to decrease inflammation, such as Curcumin and Omega-3. Increase exercise to burn off anxiety and elevate endorphins (the feel-good hormones). Think about what gives you pleasure and add more of that into your life. Chocolate and pampering spa products made that list for me.
Reach out to others to form a support system. Having lattes with friends during and after divorce kept me sane and lowered my stress. Keeping emotions bottled up inside can lead to an explosion down the road. Prevent this by venting to pals. If they are getting weary listening to you, consider booking a session with a life coach. This person can do wonders putting your life into perspective and helping to point out options that may not be obvious. Step away from needy people and those that drain you. Having time and energy for your children and for your recovery are much higher priorities. Being with my sons was more important than having relationships with acquaintances out of pity or habit.
Part of recovering from divorce can be dealing with loneliness. Consider joining a divorce support group. I am in one in London – The Divorce Club – through MeetUp.com. Being in various groups takes the focus off one’s divorce situation and on to social interactions or worthwhile causes. Volunteering is a way to help others and feel appreciated. Divorced people have formed friendships and a few found new spouses when being in groups or volunteering. Networking can boost one’s career and is a way to meet new people. Toastmasters International not only helps individuals improve the public speaking ability, but also their leadership skills. The supportive members also helped build up my confidence after going through a horrific divorce.
Several people claim moving across country or back to their hometowns was what speeded up their recovery. This often is the case when a couple changed locales during marriage due to a spouse’s job or desire. Moving may not be an option – at least right away – when children are in the picture. Some of us divorced people are relocating now that we hit the Empty Nest phase of our lives. Starting over in a fresh place enables one to let go of the past and begin a happier chapter.
Be open to advice and guidance from those who have trod the path of divorce ahead of you. They can be invaluable for passing on bits of wisdom of what did or did not work. These individuals gave suggestions for many areas of my life – legal, house repairs, travel and so much more. I went to knowledgeable friends and acquaintances when I hit some snags with post-divorce legal issues. My mantra was “This too shall pass” and it did. After having my two sons, divorce is the next best thing that happened to me. Life does get better as time goes on.