Fresh Start: 5 Ways to Adjust to Life after Divorce

By Jennifer Marley

Fresh start after divorce

Divorce does not end with the signing of the papers. Reshaping your life and the aftermath of separating from one’s spouse can be a highly sensitive, and sometimes painful one. When you have spent time with someone building a life together, finding yourself on your own again and defining your new normal can feel unfamiliar and confusing. If you find yourself getting divorced and starting afresh, finding your personal identity again as a single person takes some time and effort  - but in the end, the result is completely justifiable and worth it.


Life After Divorce: 5 Ways to Adjust to Single Life

1) Get Adjusted To The ‘I’ Frame Of Mind

In a marriage, you get used to referring to yourself as part of a couple. Committing to activities, making decisions and even simple everyday tasks such as choosing what to have for dinner, normally entails consulting with someone else or taking them into consideration. Compromise is a natural part of any marriage, but moving forward you can instead take this time to rediscover who you are as an individual and find what makes you make happy on your own.

As humans, we change and evolve over time. Our tastes, preferences, and outlook are constantly changing as we go through the different stages of life. Therefore, there is no guarantee that your interests and personality would be the same as pre-marriage. For some, this involves seeking professional help as they move on from the pain of their divorce and rediscover themselves. For others, this can take the shape of simply jotting down what makes them happy now and what they envision for their future. This is the first step in moving on as a single person: redefining who you are on your own.

2) Skip The Deadline

Grief does not have a timeline, so avoid assigning one to your recovery. Marriage is an incredible bond shared by individuals and filled with priceless memories. It is an event in your life that will never be forgotten, and nor should it be. In fact, most therapists recommend that divorcees take at least a year to recover from their marriage and avoid rebound relationships. However, this timeline is completely dependent on yourself, and so, take as long as you need to adapt to life after divorce. Focus on yourself and what you can do in pursuit of self-betterment.

3) Create A Solo Bucket List

A great way to adjust to life after divorce is to look forward to the future. While this may seem difficult in this time of transition, creating a list of things you wish to achieve by yourself can help. Some items may be old dreams of yours but not necessarily. Feel free to explore and add new things you may not have thought of previously. Whether it is travel destinations to visit, sporting activities to attempt or simpler things such as cultivating and landscaping your own garden, keep it completely personalized. This is the time to go for what you want; for what you dream of. It is also the motivation to keep moving forward.

4) Feed Your Interests - Guilt-Free

Start getting involved in hobbies or activities that may perk your interest without feeling guilty. The good thing about being single again is that you are free to pursue what truly makes you happy so feel free to take advantage of that. Joining hobby clubs or divorce support groups are a great place to start as you will be surrounded by people going through the same experience. It is also a great tool to help you deal with your mental health after getting a divorce. Whether it is a cooking class to satisfy your interest in cooking, joining a weekly book club or pursuing a newfound interest in stitching, you will not only begin to discover what you like but also experience a great release when dealing with any tension from the divorce.

5) Redecorate And Redesign

Finally, a new life can mean a new home and a new you. So why not take the time to redecorate your home to suit your personal taste? Our environment affects our mental well being. Think small changes, such as switching up your interior color scheme or larger scaled ones such a new home floorplan. Whatever route you choose, opt for a design that reflects your current taste and creates an uplifting atmosphere. Your home should be your place of sanctuary and calm; its design should reflect this.  Plus, your old home decor might be attached to memories with your previous partner, making it tough to move on.

If you find yourself having doubts, turn to a support network. Family and friends are a great support when navigating this time and there is no timeframe for how long it will take to ease yourself back into single life. All you can do is take it one step at a time and focus on becoming healthy not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Once you have found yourself, you will be able to find happiness.


Trying to figure out what comes next?
Subscribe to The Healthy Divorce Podcast. 


Topics: Fresh Starts