When you go through a divorce, your self-esteem can often take a big hit. This is true for men and women alike whether they were the ones who initiated the divorce or who were served with papers. After a divorce, it’s common to be more self-critical and to lack confidence, and these feelings can last for a long time if you aren’t careful. If those feelings aren’t managed, they could eventually turn to anxiety, shame, guilt, sadness, and depression. Building yourself up after divorce takes a lot of effort and conviction, but your stability depends on it.
You don’t want to be one of those people who stay down in the dumps after your divorce. You want—and deserve—to get a happy, healthy life back.
Give Yourself Time to Mourn
First, don’t expect yourself to be over your divorce and “better” by the time of the final divorce decree. Some people might get to that point quickly, but most need to have some time to take in the loss. After all, divorce is a loss, and you need to have time to properly grieve. Know that it will feel bad for a little while. You will come to accept that the divorce happened and it’s the best thing for you. Even if you weren’t the one who wanted the divorce, it’s better that it ended. No one wants to be in a marriage where only one side remains in love.
You Need to Be the Priority
It’s time to put the focus on you for a while. If you have been putting all of the attention on your spouse and kids for years, you deserve to prioritize yourself for a while. This doesn’t mean that your kids are no longer important or the focus of your attention, but that you need to be willing to make time for yourself. Sometimes, you just need a break. You need time to do something you enjoy. Just a little time to yourself each day can feel wonderful. When the kids are with your ex, make sure you pamper yourself a bit. You deserve it.
Great Achievable Goals
One of the reasons a lot of people end up feeling stuck after divorce is because they don’t know what they really want to do. They thought they had their life planned out before, but the divorce has changed all of those plans. What you need to do is start thinking about what you want out of life. These can be small goals or large overarching goals.
You should take the time to plan how you are going to reach them with milestones along the way. Creating those smaller, achievable goals will give you a good sense of progression.
Start a Fun New Hobby
When you are freshly divorced, it’s the perfect time to take up a new hobby that can occupy you. The type of hobby that you choose doesn’t matter, as long as it is something you find fun and interesting. You might want to learn how to make candles or soap. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at writing a cozy mystery novel, or you want to try out archery. There are countless hobbies in the world and any of them could be right for you.
Learning a new hobby helps you gain more skills, can help to become more social if it is a group hobby, and can keep your mind off of the divorce. Start looking for one or two new hobbies that you might enjoy.
Get More Exercise
This is truly one of the best things for you, but it’s something that a lot of people put off for one reason or another. Exercise gets the blood pumping and releases endorphins. It reduces the levels of stress and anxiety that you have in your body.
You simply feel better when you exercise. Not just that, but you start to get into better shape like you were before you were married. Getting stronger and fitter can help to boost your self-confidence further.
Be Happy with Successes Large and Small
When you have good things happen in your life, celebrate them and be happy. We’re not just talking about the major things like getting a promotion at work. We’re talking about the small things, such as getting the bed made in the morning and cooking a healthy meal at night. Those might be things that a lot of people take for granted, but you can’t. After a divorce, you can start to feel bogged down. Those little successes, silly as they might seem, really do matter. They show you are making progress.
Don’t Start Dating Right Away
Some people who get out of a marriage fear being alone. Not having someone around to share things with, talk to, and cuddle with at night can be scary. However, one of the worst things you can do right after a divorce is to start looking for a new significant other. Now is the time for you to focus on yourself. If you were to start dating someone new, you would then end up focusing on them instead of your own health and wellbeing. Try to be on your own for at least six months before you start looking to date.
Get Some Support
Although you can build yourself up after the divorce, it can also be nice to have some help along the way. This might mean talking with friends and family about how you feel and what you are doing now. You want support, but you also don’t want to only talk about the divorce. The support you need from family and friends is just being there to hang out, have fun, and talk about other things.
However, you may still want to talk about how you feel about the divorce. Rather than talking with family and friends, you might want to instead talk with a therapist or a divorce group. They understand what you are going through better than most.
Divorce is hard on everyone, but the pain shouldn’t last forever. The advice and tips above will help to build your self-esteem further, so you can move past the divorce and on with the rest of your life.