Establishing New Rhythms After Divorce
Life after divorce means more than just getting over an old relationship and looking for a new one. Divorce has long-term effects on your physical and mental health. The ways that you approach your post-divorce life can help you to cope with the powerful feelings that you may have.
Here are some tips for establishing new rhythms after divorce.
Allow Yourself to Feel Grief
Grief is the process that your mind uses to cope with loss. If you do not allow yourself to grieve, you could harbor deep, unresolved feelings. These feelings can manifest later, causing emotional and physical illness.
Despite the popular understanding of the five stages of grief, all people process grief differently. But most people will experience feelings that fall into the five stages — even if they aren’t necessarily in any specific order — including:
- Denial, fear, shock, emotional numbness, and a reluctance to confront or discuss the divorce
- Anger at yourself and your ex-spouse, frustration at the failure of your marriage, and loneliness
- Bargaining, which includes reaching out and trying to find the positives from getting divorced
- Depression and feelings of being overwhelmed or wanting to withdraw
- Acceptance (both cognitive and emotional acceptance that brings a willingness to move on with life)
After grieving, you can begin to establish a new rhythm in your life.
If you were part of a couple for a long time, you might have forgotten who you are and what you enjoy all on your own. Rediscovering your life before marriage can help you to find the activities and people who will bring you joy. These are the things that will likely make up your new rhythms.
Try New Things
Rediscovering the “old you” is only part of inventing the “new you.” To establish a new rhythm, you should try new things. Divorce gives you an opportunity to try all kinds of activities and meet people that would have been incompatible with your marriage.
For example, if you put off taking dance lessons because of a jealous spouse, take dance lessons now. When you find something new that you enjoy, incorporate it into your new rhythm.
Similarly, meet new people. This does not necessarily mean jumping into the dating scene. Rushing into a new relationship is often a reaction to the fear of being alone and may not provide a solid basis for a new commitment. But attending social activities that you avoided during the marriage can expose you to new and interesting people who can bring happiness to your life.
Isolation can be both a symptom and cause of depression. Depression after divorce can have serious health consequences. People experiencing depression:
- Exercise less
- Eat fewer healthy foods
- Ignore health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure
Pushing yourself to spend time with friends, family, and co-workers can help you to elevate your mood. More importantly, avoiding isolation can prevent you from obsessing over your divorce. Preoccupation with your divorce could be an obstacle to moving on.
Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer can take the burden of the divorce off of your mind and allow you to take care of yourself. If you want a knowledgeable and experienced team in your corner, turn to Gucciardo Family Law. Contact us today for a free consultation about your divorce.
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