It’s no secret that divorce can be a contentious and often devastating process for everyone involved. While one study found it takes a person an average of 18 months to get over a divorce, it’s natural if the initial impact of the split has you feeling lost, ashamed, angry or heartbroken.
Everyone responds to divorce differently; however, if you are in the midst of a separation or trying to pick up the pieces after the fact, you must take time to prioritize your mental health and take care of yourself to recover. Time heals all wounds, but in the meantime, experts suggest the following self-care strategies to help you cope with the transition of divorce and starting anew:
Give yourself time to grieve
Whether you need days, weeks, months or years to get over your divorce, take whatever time you need to mourn your relationship and practice self-compassion. Recognizing that divorce is incredibly common and does not make you a failure can help you to forgive yourself and keep perspective on harder days.
Ask for support when you need it
Talking out your feelings is a proven way to help your brain process your emotions, so don’t be afraid to find someone supportive you can vent to. Whether it be a trusted friend, relative, therapist or support group, airing out your thoughts and feelings in a productive manner can bring tremendous relief.
Eat well and exercise
Physical health can play a critical role in your mental health. Eating right and exercising can relieve stress and help you to feel happier while staying inside and binging on comfort foods can easily make you feel worse. Be sure not to let your physical health fall to the wayside during your divorce.
Try something new
It can be intimidating to put yourself out there after going through a divorce, but it’s an excellent opportunity to develop a new hobby and meet new people. You may decide to explore things your former spouse never wanted to take part in. Prioritize doing the things you enjoy for yourself during this time.
It’s difficult to get back on your feet after a divorce, but brighter days are around the corner. By being patient with yourself and practicing self-care, you can help yourself to recover that much faster.