Tips for Living Your Best Life after Divorce

Surviving divorce is more than just living through the legal process. When all the legal dust settles, you may still be left with a hefty dose of sadness, heartache, anger, and loneliness. You may wonder how to live alone after years of living with another person.

Even if you were the one who initiated your divorce, the thought of starting over can be overwhelming.

How to rebuild your life after divorce

No matter how uncomfortable your marriage may have been, it had some structure for you to cling to. You likely had a daily routine. Even the upset and worries of an impending divorce created a structure.

Now, your routine has been upended. Your fears have changed. You may have added a whole new set of concerns. How do you make this post-divorce new life one worth living?

Understand the divorce grief process

Give yourself permission to grieve the end of your marriage and care for yourself. Although it may not have been good in the recent past, your marriage was a huge part of your identity. There were likely happier times and good memories. If you had children with your spouse, they are part of this union.

Understanding and accepting that you will need to move through the stages of grief, processing both the good and the not-so-good aspects of your married life, can help you make peace as you embark on your new life as a single person.

Downloadable worksheet: Create Your Self-Care Plan

Talk with others

You may feel alone right now, but you aren’t. There are people – friends, loved ones – who want to support you. They may just not know how. Reach out to them, and let them be there for you in a way that helps you, whether it’s just to listen, go out for a drink, help you move, watch the kids for a few hours, or any other ways you could use a helping hand.

Read: Helping a Friend during Divorce

There are other ways in which you’re not alone. At any given moment, thousands of others just like you are trying to navigate a new post-divorce life. Talking with others who understand exactly what you’re going through helps dissipate some of the pain and fear. Your community or church may offer divorce support groups where you find new friends, or you may choose a group via social media or other online options. It can be very comforting to find others who are navigating the same things you are and who can offer advice or just lend an ear.

You might speak with a mental health professional, too. Many people embark on short-term therapy as part of their divorce recovery. Therapy can give you the validation you need, helping you to understand your fears and reset your perspective. 

Whatever it takes, finding a support system can be integral to your healing and self-care.

Learn positive coping skills

No matter how confident you may have been in the past, divorce can have a way of eroding your self-confidence and feelings of self-esteem and well-being.

You’ve learned some important lessons throughout this ordeal and have been gifted with a valuable do-over. Who are you, really? Who do you want to be? What is your superpower? When you were in the midst of couplehood, you may not have had the time or opportunity to consider some of these questions. Now is your moment! 

Learn to make yourself a priority again, whether that means getting a pedicure or joining a gym. Buy something for yourself that makes you feel fabulous that you never allowed yourself before. Go back to school. Get outside. Travel. The end of your marriage is not the end of you. In fact, it can be the beginning of a whole new you.

Read: Top Reasons People Get Divorced (and End Up Happier)

Don’t allow yourself to slip backward

Bad days are inevitable, and they can happen when you least expect them. Out of the blue, you might feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and perhaps unable to crawl out of bed.

Healing is not a linear trajectory. It is cyclical, and cycling will take you back by all the old stuff as you circle around. But each time, the perspective will be from a slightly different place. Notice the slight difference in how it feels every time. Give yourself what you need to get through it, and know that this, too, shall pass. It’s just part of the healing process.

Stay hopeful

Keeping a positive attitude after your divorce may seem like a mountainous task at times. How can you stay positive when you’re in such pain?

Allowing yourself to feel the pain is not the same as becoming trapped by it. Each step of moving through, talking yourself down off the ledge, and mining for positive alternate possibilities is just another baby step toward healthy post-divorce wellness. 

As time goes by, it does get easier. Baby steps become leaps, and a hopeful attitude will not feel forced.

Research says that finding a new groove after a divorce can take a couple of years. But you can’t compare your healing with anyone else’s. Your timeline is your own, and your healing will take what it takes.  Your biggest challenges can hinge on many things, including how long you were married, whether you wanted the divorce, whether kids are involved, and how well you’ve landed on your feet financially. Maybe you had to move out of the house. Maybe you had to get a new job. Maybe you lost friends. Each of these factors can affect your personal reality.

Divorce affects almost every aspect of your life, but it also presents an incredible opportunity for positive change and growth.

At Hello Divorce, we believe the challenges during and after divorce are far more than legal ones. We offer both legal and professional support as well as social and emotional support resources to help make your post-divorce life the best it can be. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, or contact us for a free 15-minute consultation to find out how we can help. 

Divorce Content Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Mental Health
Candice is a former paralegal and has spent the last 16 years in the digital landscape, writing website content, blog posts, and articles for the legal industry. Now, at Hello Divorce, she is helping demystify the complex legal and emotional world of divorce. Away from the keyboard, she’s a devoted wife, mom, and grandmother to two awesome granddaughters who are already forces to be reckoned with. Based in Florida, she’s an avid traveler, painter, ceramic artist, and self-avowed bookish nerd.