Finding a new life and new beginnings:
Regardless of whose decision it was to divorce, the end of a marriage can bring about a rollercoaster of unexpected feelings of shame, self-doubt, fear, and insecurity. You might worry that you’ll never be happy again. You might wonder whether you’ll ever find “The One” – if that’s something you believe in. This article will hopefully help you with some ideas of how to rebuild your life after divorce.
To say that divorce can be stressful is an understatement. Between dividing up belongings, agreeing how you will co-parent your children (and pets), dealing with financial issues, and navigating the emotions, it’s no wonder so many people experience unexplained weight loss following their divorce.
One way to cope with the ending of your marriage is by turning it into a new beginning. As one chapter closes, another begins. Many people use a divorce as a chance to let go of bad habits and embrace new ones.
For instance, postmenopausal women who go through a divorce or separation have reported experiencing weight loss, increased physical activity, and positive changes in their health. Best of all, researchers found that the women’s weight loss was not tied to negative emotions. On the contrary, they were using their divorce as an excuse to “consciously engage in healthier behaviours.”
A newfound appreciation for self-care is just one way many recent divorcees of all ages are using divorce as a reason to focus their attention inwards to self-improvement. With the understandable levels of stress that divorce brings, make stress reduction a daily priority.
There are a number of ways you can improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being after a divorce. Physical fitness is a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress while coping with negative emotions. Your divorce also naturally causes you to gravitate towards supportive friends, family, co-workers, and other people in your life who are there for you throughout this difficult time in your life.
Of course, if you’re not used to focusing on your own self-care, it can feel unnatural at first. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few ideas:
⊗ Take a book (or audiobook) with you everywhere you go. Getting lost in the pages of a book world provides you with an “escape” whenever big emotions or troubling thoughts come to mind.
⊕ Visit your favourite local beach or park. Walking, jogging or running encourages you to be physically active, while reconnecting with nature soothes the mind.
⊗ Spend time with animals. From playing with your dog to spending time at a cat cafe, spending quality time with animals has been shown to lower blood pressure while boosting self-esteem.
⊕ Do good deeds for others. Compassionate acts help others while also improving your self-confidence, providing a sense of accomplishment and perspective, and introducing you to supportive, empathetic people.
If you’re currently in the throes of a divorce, hang in there. Even if it feels like your world is crumbling around you, you’ll eventually get through this moment in time. With some resilience and perseverance, you can even use it as a fresh start.
Good luck on taking your first brave steps towards living a healthier, happier life.
The Legal Eagle would like to acknowledge and thank Julia Morris for this piece.