7 tips for Coping with Divorce

The period during and after a divorce is often the most difficult time a person will face in their life.  Emotional lows can lead to depression which in turn can lead to emotional overeating, or extreme weight loss due to not eating.  Newly divorced people often have significant financial struggles.  They also often deal with loneliness as well as anger and resentment.  All of these things can be amplified when there are children involved.  Below are seven ideas that can help you cope with these difficult times.

  • Write out your goals.  It’s important to sit down with a pen and put your goals onto paper.  Goals are more than dreams.  They help give you something to look forward to beyond the day-to-day.  Goals can also help you make future decisions – when deciding, for example, “should I buy ‘X’,” if one of your goals is to travel to Australia, it helps to know if your decision will get you closer to your goal or move you further away.
  • Exercise.  Regular exercise, even walking, will make you feel better about yourself.  It can be a time for quiet reflection during which you can sort out your thoughts.  Exercise is also a very proactive way to combat stress and anxiety.  Exercise also helps you to feel like you are doing “something” to help battle the feelings of being powerless.
  • Spend more time with your children.  If you have kids from your previous marriage, they are struggling with the divorce as well.  Your children need reassurances that you will be there for them, and spending extra time with them will help show them that they are important to you.
  • Reconnect with old friends.  Often while in the middle of troubled marriages, friendships fall by the wayside.  It’s important to reconnect with your old friends and rebuild your support group.  Not only can they help by listening when you need to vent or are down, friends help fill what would otherwise be quiet evenings with friendly companionship.
  • Better yourself.  Update your wardrobe.  Take a class you’ve always wanted to take.  Learn a new skill that will help you in your job or career.  Learn a new hobby that you’ve always been interested in.  When you grow, it will be easier to move beyond the past.
  • Create a budget.  Financial struggles are very common after a divorce.  Families with two incomes usually have an easier time dealing with unexpected expenses than those with single incomes.  It’s important to formalize a budget making sure to include a reasonable amount of savings to be able to handle sudden unexpected expenses.
  • Enjoy your new freedoms.  While at first divorce can be overwhelming, before you know it you will likely begin enjoying the freedom that your new life brings you.  While being the sole decision-maker can be a weighty responsibility, it’s also very self rewarding.

No doubt, many people have told you that things will get better in time.  They are right.  Directing your energy and emotions in positive directions like those listed above can help you get past this difficult time as painlessly as possible.

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