Nothing takes the wind out of someone's sails like getting a divorce. Even if your disposition prior to your split was happy-go-lucky -- even optimistic -- and you "wanted" the divorce, you may be surprised at how low and depressed you've been feeling.
Take heart, this is a common occurrence for the majority of divorced folks.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a newly single dad. He's been officially divorced for about eighteen months and said he is just now feeling better. My own divorce left me in a puddle on the floor for much longer than I would have liked, and I was among the "happily divorcing" set. I thought for sure I would effortlessly get divorced and on with my life -- ready, willing and able to continue to be successful and even find a new relationship.
Not so fast! It takes thought and effort to get your mojo back, so here are my top 3 strategies for feeling better faster after divorce:
1. Give yourself a minute to heal and establish a new normal. You're used to being in a relationship, waking up next to someone, having someone to hang out with on weekends and holidays. The end of a relationship requires healing, and healing is not instantaneous (darn it!). Find yourself a confidant and a great therapist, and engage fully in your healing process. Now is the time to discover and rediscover what you want to do, who you want in your life, and exactly how you want to spend your time.
2. Begin to do new things. Chances are you've eaten at the same restaurant more than a hundred times, gone to yoga three times a week, and spent long holiday weekends in Cabo. Dust off your inner third-grader and learn how to speak a new language, visit a new country, or learn how to line dance. The truth is, emotion is created by motion and the only emotions you're going to conjure sitting on your couch are those that require Kleenex. Grab your best friend (or find a new one) and try Pilates or spin, schedule a cruise or tour to Tuscany, or go back to school. Get yourself out in the world, doing things you find enjoyable, and soon you will feel better.
3. Stop telling your old story; design a new future vision and talk about that! It's tempting to tell and retell your end-of-relationship story. But let me ask you this: Does it make you feel better to tell that story? I'm going to guess the answer is no. In order to feel better, you've got to get excited about something, and that something is your future -- the future you get to decide in advance and get busy creating. Block out a few hours, pencil in hand (or crack open your computer), and describe how you would like your life to be right now and even five years from now. You can't focus on what happened and what you want to happen at the same time.
Remember this: Your best days are ahead of you, and the most magical of moments are yours for the making and the taking.
Honorée is the author of the books "Tall Order!" and "Master Strategies for Explosive Business Growth." She has created The Successful Single Mom 100-Day Transformation Program, The STMA™ 100-Day Action Plan Coaching Program, as well as The Tall Order! Success System and The Referral-Only Business System self-study courses.