Going through a painful divorce? Are you already divorced but having a hard time moving on? With more than half of marriages ending up in divorce, wouldn’t you think there would be a heck of a lot more material out there on how to get over a major relationship break-up like this?
Some people remain stuck in the pain, the frustration, sadness, grief, and/or resentment for a long, long time. They cost themselves months if not years of living. And then there are some people who never get over a divorce. They give their power and energy away to something that sucks the life out of them. Chances are you’ve probably met them–they’re miserable. They, if they don’t first begin to talk about it, will eventually bring up how their life is ruined because of the a$#@>Se Don’t get me wrong here–there’s nothing wrong with feeling your emotions and processing all that stuff that divorce brings up for you. Heck, how can you get over it if you squash it all down and repress, suppress, or depress it? So you wanna do that, but you don’t want to stay stuck in self-pity, resentment, or anger. That isn’t helping you–and it does nothing to change the situation or the other person.
What can you do, if you are divorced or in the process, to heal the wounds of divorce?
Here are 5 Powerful Tips to Help You Get Over a Painful Divorce:
1. Get into a gratitude habit.
When you first wake up in the morning, think of things you’re grateful for. If your mind wants to pull you into a pity party–say “Stop!” and then begin thinking of your glorious new day. How you might have great health, a roof over your head, people who love you, the sunrise,
2. Practice self-care.
It’s not selfish to take care of your needs. Focus on caring for yourself and not focusing on the person who left you or how your dreams were taken away from you. See #3.
3. Create some new dreams.
Just because you didn’t stay happily married doesn’t mean you can’t find happiness again (hint: you find it within yourself!). Create a dream board, or an inspiration journal. What will light you up and get you moving (hop, skip and jumping!) in the morning? C’mon! Challenge yourself! When you challenge yourself, you begin to find meaning, and when you find meaning, you are creating fulfillment. Feel that? Close your eyes for a minute and feel what it feels like to feel fulfilled and content. Feels great, doesn’t it? How’s your body feeling? More relaxed? Did you sigh? Smile a little? Great! Let’s move on to #4!
4. Use your body.
There are two parts to this.
a. Exercise and get moving. Get some endorphins pumping! Those are natural antidepressants. So is sunshine and vitamin D — go outside, move your body, and be in nature to get grounded.
b. Okay, here’s another way to use your body: Pay attention to your body. Think of how someone who’s depressed would sit or walk. Shoulders are down, aren’t they? Little bit of a frown? Slumpy all over? Okay, now think of a happy and confident person. How would they sit, stand, or walk. If you can, do that right now. Sit how someone who is confident would sit. Take a deep breath and breathe that in.
5. Find the lessons.
Every challenge is a learning opportunity in disguise. Divorce isn’t easy–heck, I went through a horrendous one! When I first found out my marriage was ending, it was all I could do to eat, sleep, and even exist–I was in shock for two weeks, barely registering what was going on in the world around me. I was lucky–I had a counselor to help me through (my counselor used EMDR to help with the trauma of what I went through. I highly recommend this method for fast-forward growth). You have to be the one though, that ultimately processes and gets the lessons. In the end, no one can do it for you.
As a coach and counselor, one way I help guide clients is to suggest “reframing” their divorce. When you begin thinking of something related to your divorce that is not empowering you (but distracting you from living a meaningful and extraordinary life), first identify the thought, then think about ways to change your perspective about that thought and the story you are creating around it.
Find an alternative perspective that is more positive and empowering for you.
For example, “now my dreams of growing old together aren’t going to come true.” Well, maybe not, but would you want to grow old with someone who isn’t in love with you or is mismatched with you? Do you want to worry about whether they are being dishonest or disloyal? So let’s switch this to something more positive and empowering. How about: Hey! This is my opportunity to create a new, improved, awesomely spectacular future. I can do this! Or, We never would have lasted. Now I have the freedom to completely redo my life the way I would like it to be–like a blank slate!
See where I’m going? Take responsibility for your life, your dreams, your present, your future…to do this you’re going to have to drop the blame and pity parties–they don’t serve you if you want to live your best life.
Divorce sucks but you don’t have to let it get the best of you or define you. YOU get to decide how to live your life. No more blame, no more excuses.
These are 5 tips, but there’s so much more you can do to get over divorce (here’s another bonus tip: find positive support for yourself).
If I can do get through a really crappy divorce and situation, you can too! Check out the book I wrote about divorce below this post.
If you need help and feel you’ve gotten stuck, please contact me and let’s work together to get your life back on track. Divorce coaching can mean the difference between living a mediocre life and an extraordinary one!
If you know someone who’s had a rough time because of divorce, please forward them this article. There are so many people who go through this alone. Sometimes all it takes is someone to reach out and say–“Hey, I’m thinking about you. Have you read this? It might help.” And, when they read this, I hope they–and maybe you–feel validated that divorce is tough, it is lonely sometimes, it is like a roller coaster, but it can be the beginning of a beautiful new life for yourself once you begin to open yourself up to the possibilities of a positive future. If I can do it, and create an awesomely amazing life afterwards while re-married to the love of my life–you can too!