Divorce is very difficult for many reasons, but the real heartbreaker is the realization that you are losing a partner that has been a part of your life for a long time. As partners, you likely worked as a team to manage the household and pay the bills while supporting each other in times of need.
Now that you are separated, and there is the chance that you will be living alone, you will need to make some big adjustments.
Living Alone After a Divorce
The good news is that there are many ways that you can pick yourself up, find a new living situation, and deal with the challenges that lie ahead. Let’s talk about picking up the pieces after a divorce.
1. Choose A Nice Place To Live
If you don’t retain rights to the house, then there is a chance that you will need to find a new place to live. Depending on how the divorce went down, you may want to move out of town or out of the state so you can have a fresh start. When deciding on landing spots, take the time to do your research and check crime statistics and the quality of the schools if you have kids. If you work at a physical office, then you may want to find a house that is in close proximity to the job, so you don’t have to stress about a commute.
2. Make Your New Space Your Own
Once you find a great house or apartment, take some time to decorate it and make it your own. By adding your unique style, you can make this a personal space where you can truly feel at ease. If you live in an apartment, then it may seem close to impossible to spruce it up, but there are many simple projects you can try. One idea is to add some of your favorite hanging art to the space. Find a painting that inspires you and look at it before you leave the house each day. You can also add your own colored curtains or even apply temporary wallpaper that fits your personality. Just be sure to speak to the landlord before making any major changes.
3. Storage When Living In A Smaller Space
If you are living in a smaller space like an apartment or townhome, then you may have belongings that may not fit. It is a good idea to find suitable storage and not keep boxes piled up all over the house. Excessive clutter will only cause you to feel more anxiety as subconsciously, you may feel like you are losing control of your situation. Make life easier by finding a storage locker where you can keep some of your unnecessary belongings until you can find a permanent space for them later.
Instead of just throwing everything into the locker, you need to carefully pack every item, so it doesn’t get damaged in the process. Be sure to wrap your items in waterproof plastic so they can’t get ruined if there is a leak. Also, pad all of your fragile items so they can withstand the trip. You don’t need to use professional packing materials. Blankets and towels will do the trick. It is also not a bad idea to cover the floor of the locker before you place the items inside to prevent pests from getting in your boxes.
4. Work On Your Budget
Now that you are settled, you need to reclaim your finances and create a budget so you can see exactly where you stand and what you need to do next. Sit down and list all of your income streams, be it spousal support or the pay from your job. Then, write down every recurring expense you have, from the groceries to your utility bills and your rent or mortgage payment. Now, look at what you have left over and determine if you need to make a change.
If money is tight right now, then you should look at ways that you can save cash. One idea is to cut out your regular Starbucks run and your lunches and buy coffee and food at the grocery store instead. Another idea is to find ways to lower your monthly utility costs. You can do that by taking shorter showers or installing an energy-efficient dishwasher to reduce your water bill. Also, consider installing a smart thermostat that will change the temperature when you are out of the house, so you don’t waste unnecessary energy. You can also save on energy by keeping the lights off and using natural light to complete your tasks throughout the day for as long as possible.
5. Practice Self-Care
While there is no doubt that this will be a tough time, you must continue to take care of yourself mentally and physically, so you face every new day with a refreshed mindset. You can do that by getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night. When you wake up, try to fit in 20 minutes of cardio or light weights, which will build your physical strength while also giving you time to clear your mind. Finally, eat a clean diet free of fast food and trans fats, as they will slow you down and make you feel worse.
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more samples of her writing in her portfolio.