If you have gotten a divorce in 2018, you might be overwhelmed and stressed about the upcoming new year. The good news is that there are many things you can do to start off the new year right after a divorce and custody case. Here are some ways that you can make the best choices possible for all of the facets of your life after a divorce.
Get Your Finances in Order
Your finances might have taken a big hit during the divorce process. If you paid for an expensive lawyer, you will probably have big bills to pay off. If you are currently in the process of looking for legal representation, consider a legal resource group like National Family Solutions instead; we can save you a lot of money!
You and your ex will also have gone from maintaining one household to maintaining two. You might have to pay child support or spousal support or you might be having to live off of child support and/or spousal support.
The best thing you can do now is to make a budget. Figure out what your expenses are and how those correlate with your income. If you can cut down on expenses, then do so; if not, you might have to find a way to bring in more income. The unknown can be scary and stressful, so don’t put off making a budget. This will show you exactly where your money is going and what you have to do to make sure your obligations are met.
Make an Effort to Be Amicable With Your Ex
It is understandable that you might have a contentious relationship with your ex. It will be less stressful for you and for your child if have at least an amicable relationship with your ex. You do have the right to be upset and angry over any betrayal or poor treatment, but carrying a grudge will not be good for your mental health.
Learn how to disagree in a way that does not make your ex feel defensive. For example, use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Choose to agree to disagree over topics that don’t strongly impact you or your children. Choose to let things go: Your ex is allowed to date whom he or she wants and can choose to live in ways that are very different from how the two of you lived together. If you can ignore what you don’t agree with and speak respectfully about the things that affect you and your children, you will eliminate a lot of the stress in your life.
Resolve to Have Fun With Your Children
Rather than feeling guilty about the divorce or sad about not being able to do all of the things that you did together as a family, strive to create new traditions and look for ways to have fun with your child.
For example, you might not like it that you only see your kids one or two days per week and every other weekend, but you can make rituals that will make the time spent together special. You might decide to eat at your favorite restaurant every Tuesday night or make a big breakfast on the Sunday mornings that your child spends at your house. Holidays will look different, too, but you can add in new traditions. Maybe volunteering together at the homeless shelter on Christmas Eve morning or putting together a big meal for the neighbors the day after Thanksgiving will become a treasured memory in years to come.
Make Good Choices for Good Health
Be sure to take good care of yourself, both physically and mentally, as you enter a new year without your spouse. If you have been lax on exercising and eating well, make it a promise to yourself to do both of those things. Join a gym, make a plan to walk with a neighbor after dinner, and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Buy a juicer or take a cooking class to make it easier and more fun for you to get the nutrients you need.
Make sure you are sleeping well. Are worries keeping you awake? Talk to your doctor about a sleep aid or look for relaxation methods that can help you wind down at the end of the day. If you are having trouble coping with your divorce or you are feeling anxious or depressed, seek mental health care. See your physician for a check-up and address any health issues that you may have. Now is the time for you to start taking good care of yourself if you haven’t been already!
Think About Your Dating Future
As you accept the fact that you and your spouse no longer have a romantic relationship, you might consider getting back into the dating field. Think about what you want dating to look like. Are you more interested in casual dating or in finding a new spouse? Do you want to try meeting someone online, or are you more likely to find a new partner at a bar, the gym, church, or another favorite meeting place? Or maybe you would rather put off dating for a while or indefinitely as you work on other parts of your life.
Getting past the emotional trauma of a divorce can be difficult. It is fine to take some time to simply grieve what could have been and to get used to living alone and only seeing your children half of the time. You might need to get used to a new neighborhood and living on less money. The benefit to all of this is that you will really get to know who you are apart from your spouse. You now have more time to pursue your own interests and to decide what you want out of life now that your marriage is over.
National Family Solutions can help you if you are currently in the divorce process. We can show you how you can advocate for yourself and for your children and we can even set you up with professionals who can help you get through this time. Make 2019 the best year yet by focusing on yourself, your children, and the positive changes you’d like to make.