Moving on after a divorce can be challenging. The experience is simultaneously heartbreaking and freeing. Ending a failed marriage can feel like a lucky escape, but it can also feel like being dropped into the middle of the wilderness without the tools you need to survive.
When all the papers are signed, and the divorce is official, what’s next? At Hargrave Family Law, we’ve helped countless clients navigate the divorce process and emerge equipped to start the next part of their journey. These are our tips for transitioning into the next chapter of your life.
- Maintain your support system.
You likely have friends and family members offering coffee dates, movie nights, and other outings. Many recently divorced people reject these invitations because they believe they come from a place of pity. The truth is, your loved ones really want to help, and to be there for you. They want to see you moving on after divorce too. Accept their invitations! Honor their desire to help you during this time of transition. Now is not the time to push away your support system — instead, it’s a better time than ever to turn to them and strengthen your friendships and familial bonds. The loved ones who reach out to support you in the aftermath of your divorce will be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on, but they’ll also be eager to help you dream up a future that makes you happier than the past ever did.
- Pursue a new hobby, or restart an old one.
This is the perfect time to pursue a new hobby, or restart one that you had to put away. It’s a time for fresh starts, so it’s wonderful to try something you’ve never tried but always wanted to. Whether it’s snorkeling, knitting, or something in between, learning to do something new has many benefits. Or reconnect with an activity that gave you pleasure in the past. Exploring these areas of interest can distract you from fear and other upsetting emotions, as well as make you feel fulfilled and proud of yourself for venturing out of your comfort zone and focusing on yourself.
- Give therapy a chance.
You’re working through a lot of stuff right now, both externally and internally. If you find yourself getting stuck on repeating thoughts that keep you feeling sad and helpless, it can be incredibly helpful to work with a trained professional who can help you reframe your experiences so you can create the future of your dreams. Having a therapist who can suggest coping mechanisms and help you look at things in a more healthy way is extremely helpful. If you already have a relationship with a therapist, make regular appointments as you transition into your new post-divorce life. If you’re starting fresh, your primary care physician or divorce attorney can usually offer a referral. You might have to visit a few therapists before you find one that works for you; don’t give up if it takes some time to click. If you’ve tried therapy in the past but didn’t find it beneficial, now is the time to give it another shot. No patient is “bad at” therapy or incapable of benefitting from it — most people who think that just haven’t found the right therapist yet. When you start feeling the improvements to your mental health, and are more equipped to deal with the changing tide, you’ll be so glad you gave it a chance.
The primary thing to remember during this time of change is that this is a chapter, an ending but also a beginning. Self-care is crucial in dealing with change as you begin this leg of your journey, allowing you to move forward positively with hope. If you are facing a divorce or another family law matter, the Hargrave Family Law team is here to help. We want to help you make the next chapter of your life your best yet. Start by giving us a call at (214) 420-0100.