No one expects it to happen to them, but divorce strikes up to half of all marriages. The experience can be devastating on numerous fronts. You may feel challenged financially, emotionally, and even spiritually, depending on how entangled those aspects of your life were. The world may feel like it’s crumbling, and it’s okay to struggle while figuring it all out, but it’s also important during this time to take care of yourself, even if you’re not sure how.
The last thing you need right now is to see constant reminders of your ex all over the place. Yes, you need time to process and reflect, but you also need to start working on ways to move on. And many people find that especially hard if images and symbols are all over the place. This might be especially difficult for the one who remains in the old shared home but it helps to move room by room and gather up the photos, gifts, and other reminders into a box.
Remember: This may be the ending of one chapter, but it’s also the beginning of a new one. Why not take this as an excuse to toss some of your old decor and redecorate? Make the place scream you. Paint an accent wall in your favorite color; change the whole feel and style of your living room; rearrange the bedroom and make it wholly yours. Spending a week or two (or three) redecorating and rearranging gives you time to reflect as well as to move on, all while taking steps to take care of yourself.
If you’ve spent a decent amount of time living in a partnership, you may need to adjust to life on your own again. You might feel apprehensive about it, and it may feel foreign and uncomfortable at first. It’ll get easier over time, though, even if it feels like you might not survive another moment right now.
Focus on unlocking or revisiting passions. It’s time to ask yourself: Who am I? And who do I want to be? It’s up to you to define your life, and maybe it’s time to redefine it. Think about everything you’ve been putting on the backburner or things you liked but were hesitant to express during that relationship. Consider pursuing that new career you’ve dreamed of or writing the book you’ve been plotting in your head for years. The possibilities are endless and it's kind of exciting to think about them all. Try writing a list or journaling about which things stand out to you.
There are a number of ways to improve yourself. Consider taking those karate or Jazzercise classes you’ve always wanted to try out. Look into mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Try your hand at cooking classes or join a book club. There’s always a way to improve yourself. The bonus is that you’ll also be meeting new people, which might make you feel less lonely.
Remember above all to be kind to yourself. Look for ways to make yourself feel good. An while it helps to think about the lessons you may have gleaned, it doesn't help to dwell or punish yourself for something that can't be helped. Keep your eyes pointed forward and look for ways to make your life what you want and you'll be okay — sooner than you might expect.