1. Make a plan to see your family and best friends more frequently. These are the people who attended your wedding, and may be able to feel your loss more poignantly. These are also the people who believe in you and want only what is best for you. Their support can help you feel stronger.
2. The weekends are tough. So in the beginning plan to have plans on the weekends. If you are alone, you may become more vulnerable, and this will make your healing more difficult.
3. If possible, plan and take a trip within the first 90 days. Something about getting away helps us realize that our lives are a small part, and the things that happen in our life are never stagnant. When you travel new experiences help distract you from your old environment, and instill a sense of hope in the future.
4. When a marriage is ending it is common for people to drink too much, eat too much or not enough, and engage in other unhealthy ways to numb their sadness or anger. After a divorce it is important to focus on your health. Make doctor appointments you may have put off, and get on a healthy lifestyle plan.
5. Begin journaling so you can get in touch with who you are. It is surprising how many people carry the baggage of an old relationship into a new one. This is done many times because the blame was projected onto a partner instead of looking at their own part in the divorce. If you journal, you will see where your limited thinking may have contributed to the end of the marriage. This will help you feel more confident and strong.
6. Write a letter to your ex with your heart totally poured out, but don't send it.
7. Get a makeover. When a marriage is failing it is easy to become critical of your looks including your face, hair, body, and clothes. Nothing can make a woman feel better than getting her hair and makeup done to look her best. Guys appreciate the flattery of looking their best too, so pampering is good for both genders.
8. Taking classes to improve your life can also be very helpful at this time as well as joining a support group. It presents a new focus, and it also allows you to continue improving yourself whether the classes are continuing education for your career or self-improvement for your emotional health.
9. Find something new to love. In every marriage there are things you want to do but don't have time for. Now you have time.
10. Meditation helps us in all areas of our life, but especially when we are healing and feeling the effects of stress. It doesn't matter if it's meditation done at church or at home. The importance of blocking out quiet time, to sit still, focusing on calming our breath and be present heals the body as well as the mind.
Divorces usually don't just happen. They are formed five to seven years before they break the family unit. Those five to seven years contribute to and leave insecurity, sadness, anger and sometimes hatred in the hearts of those left behind. Working through and understanding what happened and your part in it, helps you move forward with less anxiety, depression and sadness. Your future relationships and your children's emotional health depend on your ability to forgive your ex as well as yourself. -Mary Jo Rapini
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