From the pandemic to people losing their jobs and businesses, to losing loved ones from COVID-19, to kids having to be home virtually, to working from home, getting a divorce is just another added stress. It may seem downright impossible to embrace 2021 after divorce, and I don’t blame you.
Let’s face it, divorce is a major interruption in life. It affects you mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically.
There’s so much to do and so much to think about. You may be thinking:
- What’s next for me?
- How will I be able to manage financially?
- Why do I feel so hurt about this even though I knew this was the best decision?
- How could I disappoint my kids?
- Why couldn’t I make this marriage work?
- What’s wrong with me?
- Why do I feel like a failure?
- Will I ever find love again?
Right now your mind may be going a mile a minute trying to figure out the answers to all these questions. When you’re in this headspace, you want an answer and you want it now. You want a level of certainty to feel safe about your decision and what’s ahead for your life.
Do yourself a favor and pause just for a moment. Close your eyes and take a deep belly breath about three times.
See, isn’t that simple? Now that you’ve done that, please continue to read.
I don’t want to paint this false picture and tell you that in the beginning divorce doesn’t have its challenges. I also don’t want to tell you that it’s easy and that you can just move on as if nothing happened. None of this is true.
However, what’s also true is that even though divorce has its challenges, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. It doesn’t mean that just because divorce happened to you that you can’t embrace this next new chapter of your life.
This may not have been your plan going into 2021. However, in order to embrace 2021 after divorce, you must become purposeful about your life and how this change will affect you going forward.
I want to share with you 8 ways you can embrace 2021 after divorce.
How to Embrace 2021 After Divorce
1. Feel and Deal
Experiencing a divorce is similar to losing a loved one. Taking some needed time to properly grieve your situation is important to embrace this new chapter. You don’t have to “pretend” like you’re okay. You also don’t have to jump into another relationship quickly to avoid your hurt. Give yourself permission to feel so that you can deal with your feelings unapologetically.
2. Plan Your Finances
When couples split, so do their finances. It’s important to get clear on your current income and your expenses. Emotional spending can cause you to spend more than you can afford, which can create debt. Get clear on your current income and make adjustments as needed to make sure you stay within a budget that is feasible for your lifestyle. If you need assistance, get with a divorce financial planner to help you get started.
3. Control What You Can, Let Go What You Can’t
Here’s the truth: your ex may attempt to push your buttons. If you co-parent, they may not cooperate all the time or adhere to your standards. They may have moved on faster than you expected, but it’s important to pause and ask yourself this: is this something I can control? Embracing this new season involves how you spend your energy and time. When you attempt to control what probably won’t ever change, then you’re unknowingly revisiting those same problems you once had when you were married. Take a moment, pause, and ask yourself that question before reacting.
4. Your Physical Health Matters
What are you eating? Are you active? Are you getting enough quality sleep? Your activity or lack of affects your mood. Emotional eating can be a coping mechanism. Being intentional about your health can decrease other health stressors such as anxiety and/or depression. Take some time and cook healthy meals rather than grabbing something like chips, cookies, or ice cream. Go for a 15-minute walk to get some fresh air and move your body. Go to bed at a decent hour so that you can get enough quality sleep. Doing these small things will make a huge impact.
5. Your Ex Isn’t Your Competition
Keeping up with your ex’s every move will put you in a competitive spirit to believe you must keep up with them. If they moved on to another relationship, that doesn’t mean you have to. If they bought a new house or car, don’t believe you have to. You have nothing to prove to them!
6. Ask For Help
You do not have to figure everything out on your own. This will overwhelm you. Find a team to help you! If you’re having trouble processing your feelings and emotions, seek wise counsel from a therapist, counselor, pastor, and/or divorce coach. If you’re having trouble getting your finances in order, look into getting a financial planner to help you. If you need someone to watch the kids, whom do you have in your circle that you trust to watch them? Always remember, we all need help.
7. What Do YOU Want?
When you are married, you can easily lose yourself at times. You get detached from the things you once loved or maybe you decided to not seek those new desires that you were always curious about. This is a time to ask yourself what you want. Yes, you may be a parent and have other obligations, but prioritizing yourself in a healthy way is what will create joy in your life. Is there a business you want to start? Do you want to go back to school? Is there a hobby that interests you? Take a moment and reflect on the things you’re interested in.
8. Celebrate Your Wins
Every step you make is a step you should acknowledge. Acknowledging every single win no matter how big or small you think it is will make a difference in how you embrace this new journey. Every day take a moment, reflect, and see what you did to make yourself proud. Did you go for a walk? Did you make a healthy meal instead of eating something unhealthy? Did you journal out your thoughts? Did you take on a hobby that you’re interested in? Did you get some much-needed rest? Always remember that a win is a win.
Understand that it will not always be like this. The best thing you can do as you wake up every single day is to aim each day with intention. Be intentional in how you want your day to look and move accordingly. Always know if the day doesn’t work out as intended, then dust yourself off, give yourself some grace, and keep going. As you continue to move forward you will come into a place of acceptance where you’re able to embrace 2021 after divorce.