Getting a divorce isn’t any fun. But it does give you a chance to make a new start. This is a good time to take inventory of your life. If you aren’t happy with where you are in life, why not make a change? The time immediately after a divorce is usually a bad time to think about dating or finding a new partner, but it’s a good time to focus on yourself and what you really want out of life. Take a look at some tips that can help you turn over a new leaf and move on with your life after a divorce.
Reinvent Your Place
After a divorce, you’re likely to find yourself in one of two places: either in your marital home surrounded by things that remind you of your former life or in a brand new home where there are no reminders at all. Both of those options can be painful. If you’re still living in your old home, you may be reminded of your ex every time you look at something they left behind or every time you see an empty space where something of theirs used to be. And if you’re in a new place, the absence of memories can be just as painful, reminding you of your newly divorced status at every turn.
In either case, the answer is to get busy making the place where you live your own. Redecorate. Paint the walls, get rid of excess clutter, bring in new artwork, replace old furniture, or choose a scent you love and fill your home with potpourri, scented candles, or incense that lets you smell it all the time.
Don’t overdo it by spending money that you can’t afford all at once. Turning over a new leaf doesn’t need to put you in a financial bind. Instead, start small. Work on one room at a time. Really consider what you want each room to look like and bring in new things bit by bit if you have to. By the time you finish, you’ll have a space that really reflects your own personality and lifestyle.
Take Care of Yourself
Divorce can really take a toll on your health. You may not have felt much like taking care of yourself during the end of your marriage or while you were in the process of divorce, or you may have been so busy and stressed that you let important self-care fall through the cracks. But that ends now.
Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep is a key factor in any number of health problems. Set a bedtime and wake up time for yourself and stick to them. If you’re struggling with insomnia, try meditating before bed and make sure you’re practicing good sleep hygiene – clean, comfortable sheets and pajamas, a quiet, dark space with no electronic devices, and a temperature a few degrees cooler than you prefer during the day can go a long way toward helping you get enough sleep. A warm bath before bed can help as well.
Eat breakfast every morning – it really is the most important meal of the day. A piece of fruit or a small yogurt is fine if you don’t like a heavy meal in the morning. Make an effort to include some positive eating habits in the rest of your meals too. You don’t have to be trying to lose weight to make healthier choices about your diet. Try adding an extra serving of vegetables to each meal, or including more sources of essential fatty acids, like fish, eggs, and nuts into your daily diet. You’ll feel better for it.
This is also a good time to work more activity into your daily life. You don’t have to join a gym if you don’t want to, but taking up walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling can be a good way to clear your head after a busy day, and the endorphins will give your mood a much-needed boost. Plus, you’ll be doing something good for your overall health.
Learn Something New
You don’t have to return to school full time (unless you want to) but this is a great time to learn something new. Take a pottery class or learn to dance. Have you ever considered starting your own business, or even just a side hustle to earn some extra money? Sign up for a business course. Want to move forward faster in your current career? Ask your supervisor or manager about continuing education opportunities in your field – your workplace may even offer subsidized courses or tuition reimbursement. Thinking about spending some time traveling? Learn a foreign language.
Remember, there are lots of ways to learn. Your local university or community college may offer adult extension courses. Musicians or artists in your area may be offering private classes in order to supplement their income. There are plenty of educational apps that you can download to a phone or tablet to learn all kinds of things. Some of them are free, and those that aren’t are generally inexpensive. And of course, there’s always your public library, where you’ll find a variety of texts and other materials on almost any subject you could possibly want. Some libraries also offer free or low-cost classes in various subjects as well. Taking a class with other students can be a great way to make new friends with interests similar to your own, and if you prefer learning solo, expanding your horizons through education is still a great way to ensure that you’ll have interesting things to talk about when you do get together with friends and loved ones.
Divorce is difficult, and no one expects you to have everything sorted out and be back to one hundred percent right away. But you do have an opportunity during this transitional time to take charge of your life and shape it into what you want it to be. Take the time to discover what makes you feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled, and incorporate those things into your life.