Even if you are the person who initiated divorce proceedings, it is normal to feel pain, loss, sadness, and depression. After all, no one enters into a marriage expecting it to end.
You are saying goodbye to a life and a person that you once loved. Every emotion you are feeling right now is normal and legitimate.
You have every right to grieve the end of your marriage. At the same time, staying strong through a divorce is important so that you can make the best decisions for yourself as you navigate this new terrain.
10 Ways to stay positive throughout the divorce process
Staying strong is key as you move through the divorce proceedings, and staying positive will be vital as you plan for your life post-divorce.
Let us look at the following ways to stay positive throughout the divorce process.
1. Recognize that it took courage to divorce
Many people resign themselves to staying in bad marriages out of fear: fear of change, of being alone, of not wanting to take a risk, finding the courage to divorce took guts.
Congratulate yourself for wanting a better life. You may not see them now, but the positive things about divorce will reveal themselves in time.
2. Allow all your emotions to flow
In addition to the range of emotions surrounding the change of lifestyle, divorce may bring up other memories of loss, abandonment, even loneliness. Allow yourself to feel everything. Let the tears flow.
Therapists tell us it is better to release these feelings than to keep them bottled up, where later they may resurface and cause more harm. Cry, wail, even hit a pillow if you feel the need.
Some people designate a “let it out time” each day, 10 minutes devoted to emotional release, after which you gather yourself together and carry on with your routine. This might sound mechanical, but it helps!
Many married people have a tendency to “blend” personalities, erasing their own personal passions. Use the divorce to rediscover who YOU are.
Now that you are single, make a list of hobbies that you let go of during your marriage and what you might do to get back to those.
Doing activities that you put aside during your marriage will help in staying positive during the divorce.
6. Take a trip on your own
Discovering a place totally new to you can help in remaining positive. Where have you dreamed of traveling? Now’s the time to make that happen!
At the very least, booking a vacation to a new place will allow you to look ahead and dream a little. Traveling solo is a fantastic way to build a sense of fierceness, which can help you survive divorce emotionally.
Book a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Nothing amplifies the feeling of staying strong through divorce more than the challenge of exploring new lands!
Journaling three things for which you are grateful each day can be one of your positive thinking strategies.
Taking a daily moment to observe gratitude has been proven to help with mental focus and physical energy, helping to stay positive, stay strong. It reminds you of the good that is out there in the world.
When you start feeling especially down, reviewing your gratitude journal is a good way to stay strong through a divorce.
8. Take utmost care with your diet and physical exercise
Important to stay strong through a divorce is not allowing yourself to be tempted to buffer your pain by eating unhealthy foods or lying around on the couch watching endless hours of mind-numbing TV.
Those practices will only lead you down the spiral of depression, making staying strong through a divorce more difficult.
Instead, eat a balanced diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, some high-quality dark chocolate (lifts your mood), and practice plenty of outdoor movement, where the sunlight will enhance your spirits.
Are you trying to stay strong all by yourself, but it isn’t working yet?
Enlist the aid of a therapist. Licensed and trained professionals know exactly how to listen and how to counsel and will be a good support for working through a divorce.
Reaching out to trusted friends and family is also vital to your well-being, but having a therapist who is neutral and trained in how to help with staying strong through a divorce can be an important member of your support team.
You may also be interested in joining a group of other people working through a divorce. These support groups can be life-savers, as you will find yourself among like-minded people faced with similar issues.
Listen to how they stay strong during divorce; you may pick up some new ideas, and, why not, make some new friends!
10. Recognize that divorce is not the end of your life.
It may seem like it sometimes, but truly, divorce is not the end of your life. It is merely the end of one part of your life.
You still have a long road ahead of you, filled with new discoveries, new challenges, new growth, and who knows? New love!
Remind yourself that you are surrounded by people who love you and want to see you thrive. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, be strong for yourself, and watch a beautiful path emerge.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.