Finalizing a divorce can be a welcome relief to everyone involved in it. Chances are, your divorce was meant to be a stepping stone to a new period in your life in which you no longer have to deal with the issues that led to your divorce. However, finalizing a divorce can actually bring about a new set of issues. Knowing what you might experience after a divorce and how to approach those concerns are important parts of successfully coping with your divorce. The following tips, some of which are adapted from an older but still accurate article from Psychology Today, might help you anticipate the challenges that await you after divorce and handle them successfully.
Remember to Love Yourself
While you may welcome finalizing your divorce and might have been looking forward to being on your own throughout the divorce process, the sudden transition to independence can still be challenging. You need to remember to love yourself even when doing so is tough. Over time, you may have forgotten some of the unique talents and gifts that make you who you are. Starting over after a divorce can be an excellent opportunity to rediscover those things, and in turn yourself. Start by making a list of all of the things that you appreciate about yourself and keep it nearby so that it serves as a reminder when things become difficult. Make time to revisit old hobbies. Sharpen skills that may have fallen by the wayside with the demands of marriage.
Take Time for Yourself
It is no secret that marriage and parenting can be demanding. When a divorce is finalized, you will still experience many of the same stressors related to parenting and your relationship with your ex. Make sure to take some time for yourself each day and do something that you enjoy. It can be difficult to fit time for yourself in, but even something as simple as finding a quiet place to read at lunch or taking a walk after dinner can make a huge difference in your ability to cope with the new dynamics of your various relationships. Personal time is key to emotional health, and building it into your day can be easier than it might seem.
Let Go of the Past
Your marriage may have hurt you. The divorce process may have left scars. In time, those wounds will heal, but you play an integral part in making sure that they do. The grieving process is different for every person, but holding on to the pain and stress that accompanied your divorce is unhealthy. In fact, it can prevent you from moving forward in life. As you grieve, try to focus your attention on living in the present. When you find yourself dwelling on past issues, try to refocus your attention on something positive. Take the time to look around you and focus on something aside from negative thoughts and unpleasant past experiences. It may seem silly, but training your brain to let go of these thoughts and appreciate what you have around you now is an important first step in letting go of the past. You may also want to store your divorce paperwork in a safe place out of sight so that it is not a constant reminder of the divorce process.
Consider a Journal
Both women and men can benefit from keeping a journal of their thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to experiences and situations so that you can understand how they affect you. Continue to engage in positive activities and avoid situations that pull you back into depression or other negative emotions. Keeping track of your emotions and what triggers them will help make dealing with them easier. Expressing yourself in writing can also be cathartic and may provide a way for you to express anger and frustration in a more positive manner than keeping those feelings inside and exploding at a later time. Acknowledging how you feel is an important step toward steering your emotions in a healthy direction.
Do Not be Afraid to Leave Your Comfort Zone
Leaving your comfort zone can expose you to new experiences that could have a significant positive impact on your life. Try new restaurants, see new movies, visit new places, take new classes. There are an unlimited number of ways that you can step out of your comfort zone with positive results. Doing so will help increase your self-confidence and the pleasure you experience in life. It may also help you meet new people and discover hidden talents you never knew you had.
While it is important to try new experiences, especially those that you may have been wanting to try for a long time, it is equally important to do so only when you are ready. Many close friends try to bring newly divorced individuals out and encourage them to get back into the dating game. However, only you know when the time is right for you to do that. Do not be afraid to try new things, but do not feel pressured to do so until you know you are ready.
There is no shame in seeing a therapist to help you cope with your divorce, both during and after the process. If you find yourself stuck or unhappy, then it may be time for you to consider working with a mental health professional in order to emerge from divorce in a positive and productive manner. There might be underlying issues that even you are not aware of that a therapist can help you identify and work through. Left untreated, these issues can be a weight that continues to hold you down long after your divorce is final.
Divorce will likely stir up a range of emotions, including guilt. Once a divorce has been finalized, these feelings may still remain. No matter the reason for your divorce or who you believe should shoulder the blame, it is important to practice forgiveness both for your ex and for yourself. While this is often easier said than done, it is still an integral part of maintaining a healthy emotional balance in your life and letting go of negative feelings.
Maintain Your Relationship with Your Attorney
Even after your divorce is finalized, you may find it helpful to maintain your relationship with your divorce attorney. This is especially true if your divorce involves children, child support, alimony, or even intricate financial concerns. Your attorney is familiar with the details of your case and is likely in the best position to help you with concerns that could arise as a result of your settlement. That is why it is so important to choose the Florida divorce attorney that is right for you. If you are considering divorce or have questions about how a Florida divorce could affect you, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about what the Florida divorce process entails.