When you’re going through a divorce, it’s perfectly normal to feel a variety of emotions. One moment, you might be sad or feeling down. The next, you might be angry or frustrated.
Even if your divorce was amicable, going through a rollercoaster of emotions can be expected.
As a result, you might be harder on yourself than usual. Or you might not be taking care of yourself the way you should. That can make the whole divorce process harder on you and may make it more difficult to move forward with your life.
Divorce recovery is different for everyone. There isn’t a concrete timeline to follow or steps that work for every person. So be kind and compassionate with yourself. If you’re struggling with how to do that, let’s look at a few ways you can show more self-compassion.
Take a Break
You might think that the best way to “get over” your divorce is to keep moving on with your life as though nothing happened. You might dive head-on into your career, stick to your daily schedule, run the kids here and there, and keep yourself as busy as possible.
While the goal is to move forward, you might not always be able to do that right away. If you are using the everyday stressors of your life to avoid thinking about your divorce, you will burn out quickly.
Take a break shortly after your divorce. A few days off from work can actually make a big difference. It will give you a chance to relax, decompress, and be mindful of the moment you’re in. The fact is, life will be different from now on. Pretending everything is the same won’t change that. It will only cause you to live in denial for a longer time.
Be Your Own Best Friend
If a friend of yours was going through a divorce, how would you talk to them? How would you act around them? Chances are, you would be supportive, understanding, compassionate, and kind.
Why not treat yourself the same way?
Now is the time to be your own best friend. Don’t treat yourself as though you are worth any less than someone else going through the same situation. Negative self-talk can easily creep in. But you wouldn’t let your friend talk about themselves that way. So don’t let those thoughts take over your mind either. Instead, replace them with positivity and attempt to boost your confidence.
Additionally, you can do something kind for yourself, like you might for a friend. Buy your favorite coffee drink, or take the afternoon off to see a movie by yourself. By being your own best friend, you can quickly start to realize that you’re going to get through this.
Celebrate Small Victories
Not every day will be easy. In fact, most days will probably be difficult for a while as you find your footing after the divorce. Instead of wallowing in those “defeats,” celebrate the small victories each day.
Your victories can include anything from getting to the gym for the first time since the divorce to finishing your favorite book. Anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment and forward progress should be viewed as a win. Those small victories add up quickly.
Ask For Help
You don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re constantly placing the blame on yourself or you feel shame or guilt about your divorce, talking to someone can help. You likely have more built-in support from friends and family than you realize, so don’t be afraid to open up to them.
Don’t rush yourself to get through the grieving process of your loss. It will happen naturally, as long as you accept it and are willing to work through it.
If you’re going through a divorce or you need help re-establishing your sense of self, please contact the San Diego Divorce Counseling Center at www.DivorceCounselingCenter.