Life After Divorce: 5 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Divorce is not a fun process.
No one goes into marriage thinking it’s going to end, so it can be devastating when it does — even if it was your decision to call it quits.
So it’s important to give yourself some time to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.
Be patient with yourself and allow plenty of time to process everything that happened. You’ll soon have to start reimagining how the rest of your life will turn out. And, depending on where you are in the process, that may even feel empowering.
Here are five tips to help reinvent yourself after divorce.
Go on a solo vacation
Everyone has a different idea of paradise. Go to yours. It may be in a remote cabin in the woods or a packed cruise to some Caribbean islands. Whatever it is, follow through on this one for yourself.
There will be plenty of time for rekindling old friendships and commiserating with other divorcees. Think of this as a time to figure out who you want to be. This solo vacation will give you the chance to see the world from the perspective of your newfound freedom. And it can help you find hope if you’ve lost it.
Make a commitment to your health
So many people fall into unhealthy habits in the aftermath of divorce. There are so many emotions to process, and we simply get tired of processing them all. That’s why it’s common for divorcees to struggle with alcoholism or substance abuse.
Remind yourself that abusing alcohol is not the answer. Instead, try taking up a healthy habit like meditation or exercise. In the end, you’ll look better, feel better, and function better in the world.
Change your name
If you’ve changed your name as a result of your marriage, this may be a good time to change it back. When you legally change your name, you can symbolically return to the person you were before marriage. And even if you didn’t take your spouse’s name, you may want to consider a name change anyway. Your name is a major part of your identity, so changing it can truly make you feel like a new person.
Change your address
If you’re in a position where you can move out of the town where you and your spouse shared a home, this will serve as an instant boost of independence. If you have kids, you won’t want to stray far, but even a simple thing like changing zip codes can feel liberating. With a new zip code, you can make new friends and frequent different establishments, making it all seem very much like your own space where you can be yourself (whoever that is now).
Change your style
You don’t need a full-on midlife crisis makeover, but many people find that changing a hairstyle or style of dress can help reinvent themselves after divorce. Try a service like Stitch Fix, where a stylist will shop for you. And consider changing up your hair color or style. If you’re on the fence, just go for a subtle change and get recommendations from a stylist first. Any change will help you reinvent yourself, but it can be counterproductive if you don’t like what you see in the mirror.
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, and it can be even more devastating when it wasn’t your choice. But still, it’s up to each of us to make the most out of what we have, and for many, that means reinventing themselves after divorce. Introduce the new you to the world.