How to Get Back into a Healthy Routine after Divorce
by Vanessa Davis
Going through a divorce is something everybody hopes they’ll never have to face. Still, life doesn’t give you what you want, but it always gives you what you need, which is a very hard concept to accept. Getting out of a marriage takes a lot of strength, maturity and acceptance, mostly because so much certainty in your life is gone and you need to figure out how to deal with it. After that, there’s the pressure of “reinventing yourself” and juggling responsibilities, and if you have children, everything is even more complicated and just too difficult and how will you ever cope?
Now stop. It’s true, getting divorced is one of the biggest challenges in life you have to face, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it all on at once. Breathe and take the first step, no matter how small, toward improvement of any kind. If you need some extra help on how to do that, here is some advice on how to get back into a healthy routine after divorce.
Acknowledge Where You Are
Most people try to scramble through the period right after their divorce as soon as possible and this is hardly surprising. There’s a lot pain, fear and insecurities to face, not to mention the big one – the sense of failure. However, no matter how distraught you are and how lost you feel, the first step toward feeling better is to acknowledge just where you are right now. This might sound easy, but it’s usually everything but that, seeing that being vulnerable, even with yourself is considered a weakness. If you’re not sure how you’re dealing with your new situation, talk to a professional, someone who knows how to listen and isn’t bias in any way. You’ll be surprised how talking to a therapist, at least for a couple of times, can be a source of great clarity.
Don’t Shut Everybody Out
While it’s very important to know how you feel and solve problems as they come, shutting everybody out isn’t a solution. You want to be strong and independent, sure, but that doesn’t mean that you should act like everything “fine”. You’ve got friends and family around you, people who are willing to listen to you without preaching and unnecessary advice, so by all means, lean on them. You shouldn’t spend all the time with your loved ones talking about what’s troubling you, but don’t be afraid or too proud to turn to them for comfort. Besides, those are the people that will make you get out of the house more, they will make you laugh and feel better just by their presence.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Again, you don’t have to run around reinventing yourself because that puts extra pressure and you really don’t have to deal with that. Instead, do what feels good and makes sense to you. Maybe you’ve got an old hobby that you’ve neglected, maybe there’s that thing you’ve always wanted to try but always shied away from, maybe those dance lessons you took a few years back will still feel amazing now. The truth is that after a divorce you do have to find what makes sense to you, but you don’t have to do it all at once, on the contrary, this is a process and it should be scary and enjoyable. If you haven’t paid much attention on how you treat your body, start now – stock your fridge with healthy food and get rid of any unhealthy snacks lying around. Start moving around more, go for walks, sign up for a Pilates class or rock climbing, if you feel more adventurous. Don’t let your comfort zone and fear that keeps you imprisoned in it stop you, just move one tiny step at a time, the progress you’ll make will astonish you.
Take Charge of Your Life
For a certain period of time, there was another person in your life you shared everything with and now that they’re gone, you’re probably struggling to find safe ground. The crucial idea here is not to get stuck in the past and move on from the notion that “you can’t do it on your own”, as that is pure folly. Embrace that the duality that was once physically present in your life in the form of your partner should now be in within you. Taking charge of your life might sound impossible when everything is spinning around you in the whirlwind of inevitable change but in the end, all you have to do is let go of what doesn’t serve and fully accept what is. Every aspect of your life isn’t half as bleak as it might seem because your vision is blurred by emotions and the key to achieving anything comes down to taking responsibility for your life and actions and then changing it all for the better. So work a bit more to get that promotion, improve yourself by taking classes in subjects that interest you, spend more time with your children and make them feel loved, it all starts once you’ve realized that your life and everything in it is absolutely in your hands. – Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.
Some interesting points here that are so very true, but coming from a guy’s perspective, I think I can add a some additional insight.
To establish a healthy routine first requires a healthy emotional state. Immediately following a separation, this can be quite hard because as you can guess, even us guys have emotions that can be greatly damaged by someone that has decided to walk out. Whether they are right or wrong in their decision doesn’t matter in the end, because it’s not about that. Life happens in a way that we least expect sometimes. As you have stated, “Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but always what you need.” At first that’s a hard pill to swallow, but in my own personal journey it resonates strong with me. Why do I think this? Because I went through it personally and after 6 months of reflection and honesty with myself, I was able to write the blog post entitled, 15 Ways Life is Better After My Separation: A Guy’s Perspective. I can truly say that every word of that blog post is true even though it took me a while to recognize it. As I make clear, it’s not about me being right and she being wrong. It simply has to do with the fact that we were such opposites. But the fact is, we guys have a very valid perspective that some women cannot identify with. My Ex and I got together before we had really had a chance to explore who we truly were. For us guys who have dealt with this kind of relationship and then accept it and move on exposes a powerful truth…Sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be and we can be at peace moving on. It wasn’t our fault. It just is. When we accept this without wanting to post blame anymore, so many new opportunities are there for us to realize. Part of that opportunity is establishing a healthy routine that gets us back into the real world.