Divorce is one of the most complex decisions of a person’s life. No matter what made you end your marriage, divorce does feel like a rug being pulled from under your feet — leaving you with a tumultuous wave of emotions and distress.
While divorce may happen due to various reasons, from infidelity to shifting priorities to unresolved conflicts, one needs to learn essential coping strategies to adjust to the new life without your spouse.
With studies showing that almost 50 per cent of all marriages end in divorce, it means that more and more people need ways to overcome and move past this painful period. If you’re going through a similar phase, here are some practical strategies to help you cope, according to Dr Jyoti Kapoor, founder-director and senior psychiatrist, Manasthali:
Allow yourself to grieve
Acknowledge that divorce is not just the dissolution of a legal union but a profound loss that warrants mourning. It is perfectly normal to experience a rollercoaster of emotions — from profound sadness to flashes of anger or even unexpected relief. Allow yourself the space and time to grieve the end of your relationship.
Reach out to a support network composed of friends, family, or a compassionate therapist. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can provide solace, understanding, and a fresh perspective on your situation.
Focus on self-care
Prioritise your well-being — both physical and emotional. Divorce can be emotionally taxing, and taking care of yourself becomes paramount. Ensure you get adequate rest, nourish your body with healthy food, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Cultivating self-care habits can be a crucial lifeline during times of upheaval.
Set realistic expectations
Understand that healing is a gradual process that unfolds over time. It’s essential to set realistic expectations for yourself — acknowledging that there will be both good and challenging days. Grant yourself the grace to navigate this journey at your own pace.
Create a new routine
Establishing a new routine tailored to your current circumstances can instill a sense of stability and control amidst the chaos of change. Routine provides a scaffolding upon which you can rebuild a semblance of normalcy.
Reconnect with hobbies and interests
Rediscover the passions and pastimes that once brought you happiness and fulfillment. Engaging in these activities not only provides a therapeutic outlet but also aids in rebuilding a sense of identity independent of the marital context.
Focus on the future
While acknowledging the past is crucial, redirect your gaze towards the future. Chart out new personal and professional goals and gradually work towards them. Shifting your focus to the possibilities that lie ahead can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth and renewal.
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