Healing after a divorce is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, patience, and self-compassion. There is no one right way to heal, and everyone’s experience will be different. However, some things can help you along the way. When it feels impossible to even get out of bed, try some of these ideas to help you move forward.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Divorce is a major loss, so it’s important to give yourself time and space to grieve the end of your marriage. This may mean crying, feeling angry or sad, or simply feeling lost and confused. It’s all okay.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or support group can help you process your emotions and feel less alone. Having someone to listen to you and offer support can be invaluable during this difficult time.
Take Care of Yourself
Make sure you’re eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Taking care of your physical and emotional health will help you heal and move on. Don’t eat your feelings; it will just make you feel worse.
Avoid Contact With Your Ex (for awhile)
This may be difficult, but it’s important to give yourself space to heal. If you have children together, you’ll still need to communicate about parenting, but try to keep it to a minimum and avoid talking about your relationship. Do not use your children to punish your ex-spouse; it will make your children even more confused and sad.
Don’t Make Any Major Life Changes Right Away
It’s tempting to make big changes after a divorce, like buying a new house or quitting your job. But it’s important to give yourself time to figure out what you want and need before making any major decisions.
Do Things You Enjoy
Make time for activities that you find fun and relaxing. This could be anything from reading to hiking to spending time with your friends and family.
Rediscover Who You Are
Take some time to get to know yourself again. What are your interests? What are your values? What do you want out of life? This is a good time to explore new possibilities and rediscover who you are as an individual.
Set Goals For Yourself
What do you want to achieve in the next year? Five years? Ten years? Setting goals for yourself can give you a sense of purpose and direction.
Forgive Yourself and Your Ex
Forgiveness is an important step in the healing process. It doesn’t mean that you have to condone what happened, but it does mean letting go of anger and resentment.
Healing from a divorce takes time. Don’t expect to feel better overnight. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal at your own pace.
Remember That You Are Not Alone
Millions of people go through divorce every year. You are not alone in this.
Know That You Will Be Okay
It may not feel like it right now, but you will be okay. You will heal from this and move on to a happy and fulfilling life!
Finally, remember that healing is a process. It takes time to rebuild your life and find your new normal. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. Research shows that it takes about two years after a divorce for life to feel balanced again. Don’t judge yourself or force yourself to heal faster, take the time you need to get healthy.
Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.