Getting Back On Your Game
One of the toughest goals to achieve after a debilitating divorce is to regain one's confidence. When I first entered the fray, others told me that I would not feel better about myself for at least a year. I scoffed and assumed they had to be wrong. After all, isn't it a common occurrence for a husband to leave his wife for the lusty legal assistant? But they were right. Hopefully, it will take you less time!
Here are five of the lessons I learned that can help you return to yourself!
- Focus on family and close friends. At first, your situation may look bleak, but remember the people who are counting on you and concentrate on deepening those relationships. Children especially rely on you during these initial challenging times and need to know they can depend on you even if your marriage with their father has dissolved.
- Make plans. Be a yes woman who agrees to attend all events that come your way (within reason). Start being more open to social occasions and be sure to develop your interests. Take a course in something you have always wanted to study like photography, cooking, film or whatever captures your attention. It is important to be open to opportunities as you never know what or whom you will find.
- Concentrate on work. Your personal finances are most likely tanking along with your marriage, so now is the time to dive into your work. Because the majority of the workforce is female, most of you have a job or if you are not currently working, chances are you have numerous skills that would serve you well in a new career. Sign onto new projects and take on added responsibilities. Now is the time to remember what you are good at and to feel empowered at the office.
- Spend time on yourself. Learn from your recent experiences. Even if you feel your ex was in the wrong and caused the demise of your relationship, try to benefit from the experience. Take time to evaluate so you can learn lessons and take away something of value from what has happened in your life. See a therapist if you can afford to, or just pick 2-3 good friends or family members to talk to about these personal matters, preferably those who have been separated or divorced so that they may have wisdom to share. It is best not to divulge your misfortunes to everyone you know or you may get a Debbie Downer reputation. Just pick a select few who understand and are willing to listen.
- Exercise your demons. Let's face it, you may feel overwhelmed. You now face a myriad of responsibilities you never had before when you could share the load with your ex, and the very last thing you have at the end of the day is energy. One of the best ways to feel more energized and positive about yourself is to look and feel good. Do something physical, whether you prefer yoga, joining a running or biking club, playing tennis or squash or just hitting the gym. Exercise is one of the best ways to regain your sense of self.