6 Divorce Recovery Tips
Time heals all wounds…..or something like that. Divorce or separation can be earth shattering with a range of emotions and grief. On average it takes 1 to 3 years to recover from a divorce and adjust to your new life. For some people the recovery process can take even longer. Follow these 6 tips to jump start your recovery and start living your happiest life.
1. Feel your feelings. Staying strong can initially feel so empowering, however you have to feel it to heal it. The process certainly depends on the details of your relationship and the divorce. Start a journal as a place to process your feelings, as time goes by reflect on your first entries and witness your growth.
2. Get support. Create a list of friends and family that you know will support you during this time. Be vulnerable and invite them into your life and let them help you. It’s okay to need help, it takes real strength to be vulnerable. On that list identify how your friend best helps……we all have that friend that will want to take us out for drinks, or bad mouth the ex, or help you box up your mementos. Its important to identify which friends are going to push you towards growth and push you towards who you want to be. In addition to friends and family, make a list of professionals that can help. Not just a therapist that specializes in divorce but you will need legal counsel, a financial advisor, or a career coach if needed. Ask for recommendations for mechanics, plumbers, and a handyman, it’s far better to make the list and need the services than it is to have your basement flooding int he middle of the night and not know who to call.
3. Get rid of reminders, it’s time to say goodbye……for now. I am a big believe in rituals for our grief. Divorce grief is as intense as the death of someone we are close to. We have funerals as a ritual for dying but we don’t have ceremonies for divorce. Take the opportunity to place mementos out of sight and create a ritual out of it, light some candles and experience the feelings of loss as you set your items aside and out of sight. Whatever you do don’t throw important mementos away, when you are further in your recovery and not so emotionally vulnerable then its a good time to decide what to keep and what to give to a new home.
4. $$$ Get your financial house in order. I mentioned a financial advisors in the get support tip however there is much more to getting your financial advisor. it is important to create a financial map of what you have and what your future looks like. Depending on your state you are entitled to a portion of the assets and possible maintenance. Consider how much money you need to get by with your current lifestyle, use that information to decide what is feasible and more importantly what will make you happy. It may be time considering downsizing and letting some of that old life go.
5. Gratitude. How can I practice gratitude when my life sucks? There is no better time to start turning your mind towards the things you do have. A good practice is every morning to find something you are grateful for and say it out loud, before you go to bed come up with something that happened in the day that you are grateful for
6. Make your life map. A life map takes into account your past but it also allows you to map your future. Start with writing down the dates of important things that have happened to you. Take stock of what you would like to do in the future, maybe that includes a career change, going back to school, traveling. Now think about those things in chunks of time and map it out.
Recovery from divorce takes on average 1-3 years to adjust to all of the changes, for some even longer. These suggestions can be used to start your recovery process with intentionality. Therapy can help with processing the grief, reducing the stress, increasing support, tuning into dreams, healing hurt, finding purpose, and attracting love again (among many other things).