Re-claim Your Life
The media stereotype of a divorced person, particularly a woman, is as a victim of divorce, but you may find an incredible sense of liberation after exiting a bad marriage. Ashton Applewhite,whose own marriage ended in a 50/50 division of marital property, contends you can find yourself better off than you were as a spouse.
It’s up to you to take control and shape this new life even as you are dealing with the pain of divorce. There are some techniques we suggest for moving on after divorce:
- Record your thoughts and emotions.
Buy a journal with a bright cover and chronicle your new life on a daily basis. You’ll find you will free yourself of many fears and negative feelings simply by writing them down – and you’ll find the reading as fascinating as a novel when you go back to your words months or years from now. You can also record your thoughts in an electronic journal. Set up a file on your computer or follow the Divorce Source model http://www.divorcesource.com
- Chart how you spend your time.
Sheila Ellison, author of The Courage to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again After Divorce,logged her activities morning to night and found she had no time for herself. She created a “dream wheel,” illustrating how she wanted her life to look and designated some unscheduled time slots, which she used to develop new interest and go to the gym.
- Give of yourself.
Volunteering your time and talents not only helps others but will help you avoid depression and start building a new life. You can explore career options, put the volunteer work on your resume (particularly useful if you have been a stay-at-home spouse) and even explore your fantasies. If you’ve always wanted to star on Broadway, start volunteering with the local theater group. Opportunities are everywhere. Many communities have volunteer clearinghouses to help place you.
Guidelines for volunteering http://www.serviceleader.org/new/
- Explore new directions.
Stretch your mind or body by enrolling in a course. To make sure you go, join up with a friend. One of the most exciting things we’ve done is going on a wilderness adventure with Outward Bound http://www.outwardbound.org, which helps you understand yourself better while helping others on your team.