Getting a divorce isn’t a decision you take lightly. Getting a divorce is a lengthy process that requires the assistance of an attorney if you want to make sure everything is done properly, especially if any portion of your divorce is being contested. However, you do it anyway because you know that it’s important to your mental health and your future.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to make you happier and your life better. At least not at first. It’s normal to struggle in the months and years after your divorce, but it’s also normal to find a sense of joy as soon as possible. After all, you want to feel like you made the right decision, and feeling happy is a good sign that you did!
Whether you’re newly separated or you have been divorced for a while, there are a few things you can do to find a little joy and happiness after your relationship ends.
Lean on Family and Friends
Friends and family can make a divorce a lot less scary and depressing. Family members can provide you with an ear when you’re feeling down, while friends can provide you with company when you’re feeling alone. It’s even better if you have friends or family who have experienced a divorce, as they can provide you with advice.
If you’re struggling to find friends and family that you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with, there are other ways you can find support. Consider joining a support group or attend therapy. Working through your feelings with others is the first step towards a happier life.
Find Ways to Forgive
Forgiveness is extremely important if want to experience more joy in your life. If you’re harboring resentment or anger towards your spouse, it can manifest in frustration, depression, and failed future relationships. Take the time to work through what happened in your marriage and find ways to understand your ex’s actions. The quicker you can forgive them for their transgressions, the quicker you can truly move on.
Finding ways to forgive means finding forgiveness for your ex, but it might also mean forgiving yourself. Whether there are things you did to contribute to your divorce, you are unhappy with the way you behaved during your divorce, or you’re beating yourself up for marrying your ex in the first place, forgiving yourself is even more important than forgiving your ex.
Focus on Gratitude
Going through a divorce can change your life in ways that make you feel depressed and frustrated. It might mean struggling financially for a while as you adjust to a one income household, it might mean downsizing, and it could mean continued contact with your spouse because kids are involved, even though you never want to see them again.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on gratitude. Every time you start to feel down about an aspect of your divorce, find a way to spin it in a positive way. For example, you may have to downsize, but you never have to worry about cabinets being left open or laundry all over the dining room table when you live by yourself!
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
You can discover a lot about yourself when you step outside your comfort zone. You can also find something that brings you a lot of joy!
A few ways to step outside your comfort zone, both big and small, include:
- Take a different route home from work
- Join a class or volunteer
- Start a new hobby
- Take a trip by yourself
Start Dating—But Only if You’re Ready
It can feel good to put yourself out there and go on a few dates if you’re feeling a little low. It can feel great to connect with other people, and it just may result in a new relationship that provides you with giddy, joyful feelings.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to date.
There are a lot of signs that you aren’t ready to date, but one is that you’re still struggling to get over your divorce. If you’re still harboring resentment towards your ex or your previous relationship has made you insecure, you should hold off on dating until you’re truly ready. You’ll be happier in the long run.
Feeling happy after a divorce isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Instead of dwelling on the past and how things could have been, start looking towards the future with the tips on this list and you’ll find that joy is waiting for you right around the corner.