Going through a divorce tends to be a major life change. It’s also a time to reflect on who you are, who you want to be, and what you want your next chapter to look like. You may even start a journey that lets you find your own identity without being attached to someone else. One of the best ways to do that is to find support and get connected with your community.
While having the support of your friends and family is often necessary, you also have to take the time to carve out your own path. What better way to build a stronger support system and do something to give back to others than by becoming a presence and a voice in your neighborhood?
By connecting within your community, you can make new friends (especially if you’re both parents) and find like-minded individuals. You’ll also enjoy the health benefits of giving back — including lower stress levels.
So, what can you do to connect with your community post-divorce?
How to Get Connected with Your Community After Divorce
1. Join Like-Minded Groups
It can be hard to motivate yourself after a divorce. Life is different, there’s no denying it. One way to “force” yourself to get out there is to join groups that you’re interested in. It’s a fantastic way to connect with others and make new friends.
Think about the things that interest you and use them as a springboard for the types of groups you want to join. It could include things like:
- An exercise/yoga class
- A book club
- A support group for parents, divorcees
- An art class
The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to branch out and explore your interests while meeting new friends and neighbors.
2. Get Involved in Your Child’s School
Remember, your children are going to be impacted by your divorce, too. You can both feel a sense of comfort in spending more time together, and you can take an active role in their “life away from home” by getting involved in their school activities.
Consider joining the PTA or other volunteer groups that help make decisions. Or, if you have the skills, consider becoming a coach or assistant coach for one of your child’s teams.
You can take things one step further if you want to be more involved with your child’s school and make a career change all at once. Consider going back to school to become a teacher’s assistant or teacher.
3. Join the Homeowners’ Association
Most communities have some type of homeowners’ association or an equivalent. Getting involved with your local HOA can help you develop a closer relationship with your neighbors. It can also put you in the center of community issues, where you can help solve problems and make the area a better place for everyone to live. There are plenty of ways to get involved, including:
- Attending community events
- Regularly attending HOA meetings
- Joining committees
- Becoming a board member
Joining the HOA will help get you connected with your community, and you may learn things about your neighborhood that you never would have otherwise. If you’re interested in connecting with others while making a difference, it’s a wonderful opportunity.
4. Make Donations
Going through your belongings after a divorce can be difficult, but it’s the perfect time to “purge” things you don’t want or need. Your home environment should be a place where you feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed. If items from your marriage are still there, triggering bad memories or keeping you from moving on, you could start dealing with mental health issues like depression.
Thankfully, donating some things is not only a great way to improve your environment but to give back to your community. Consider donating clothes to thrift stores, bed linens to your local homeless shelter, and books to your local library. Doing so opens the door to those places in your community where you can connect with others. You might even find more ways to give back when you talk to people at these places of business or organizations.
5. Attend Church
After dealing with a divorce, you might be feeling lost or “empty” somehow. For some people, clarity is found through spirituality. Attending a community church is not only a good way to meet others and feel supported, but you might end up getting much more out of it than you planned!
Most neighborhoods have churches or places of worship with different denominations. Don’t be afraid to shop around a bit until you find one that feels like the right fit.
If you already attend a church, why not get more involved? Join small groups, volunteer for different services or events, and connect with other members. Most churches are active in different ways in their communities, so getting more involved with yours can make you feel more connected — in more ways than one!
There are so many additional things you can do to get connected with your community after a divorce. The most important thing is to take that leap and do it! The next chapter officially starts now, and you’re in charge of how it’s written.