The current divorce rate is estimated to be 14.9 per every 1,000 marriages. This may surprise you, as the most common statistic passed around claims that “half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.”
While this expression doesn’t ring true, divorces are still common and happen every day. Marriage doesn’t always work out, and that can often be for the better.
What matters now is refocusing on yourself and rediscovering who you are. If you’d like some tips on starting your new life, read our guide below.
1. Try Therapy
When you are newly divorced, everything in life will seem completely out of order. Your normal daily routine will change, your career may change, and the people you spend most of your time with will change.
It should be expected that you will need a little help to deal with all this change. You may not understand how or why you’re feeling how you feel, and talking with a therapist can help you sort out any lingering feelings that occur through your post-divorce phase.
It’s normal to go through a rollercoaster of emotions, and a therapist can help you sort through these and help you discover what your next steps might be.
This can be especially helpful if you feel lost and need a little guidance. Think of a therapist as a tool, like a compass, which can help you find the new direction that you want to explore.
2. Start a New Hobby
There’s a good chance that a large portion of your life surrounded your ex-partner. What you did after work, the places you went, and the restaurants you ate at, all probably have memories that feature the person you don’t necessarily want to be thinking about right now.
A great way to combat this is by starting a new hobby, or two, or three. Take an adult dance class, go to a paint and sip event, or try out hiking. Find whatever interests you, and do that.
This can also help you meet new people and find new places to go, which can allow you to make new memories. This time is all about you, so if there is something that you’ve been thinking of doing for a while, now is the time to try it out.
3. Organize Your Files
After a divorce is finalized, you’ll have a bunch of paperwork to gather and file away. You’ll want to address this immediately, so you don’t have to continue thinking about the process of it all.
Contact your divorce attorney and request to receive any files you haven’t gotten back yet. File away your tax and bank records in your regular files, and organize the rest of your divorce paperwork in a place where you won’t see it.
4. Create a New E-mail Address
After a breakup, it’s best to start fresh wherever you can. This is even more important when it is a divorce.
A good place to begin is online by creating a new online presence. If you had an e-mail address with your old last name or one you shared with family members, it’s time to create a new one.
5. Get a Passport
If you don’t have one already, securing a passport is a fun and exciting thing you can do once your divorce is final. If you have never traveled outside of the United States, now is a great time to consider doing so.
Just receiving your passport can help open yourself up to new travel possibilities.
6. See a Financial Planner
When you’re married, your finances get tied together. Even if you have separate bank accounts, your bills and monthly cash-inflow and outflow all depend on each other’s paychecks.
When you get divorced, it’s essential that you separate these things and get a good look at your own financial situation.
A financial planner can help you open up a new bank account and take a look at what you have in your savings. They can also help you get a grasp on any debt you have and help you create a new monthly budget.
This is also a great time to set new financial goals and stick to them. Whether you want to buy a new house or go on a grand vacation, now is the time to start the process of making it happen for yourself.
7. Get a Makeover
Changing up your look even just a little bit can give you the confidence you’re looking for after a divorce.
Get a haircut, change your hairstyle, or dye your hair. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after looking in the mirror and seeing something new.
This can also help remind you of the new space you’re in and help stop you from trying to go backward.
Along with this, consider updating your wardrobe. Get rid of anything that causes negative feelings, and purchase a few new items that you feel really good about.
This will also give you something to wear when and if you decide to start dating again.
8. Start Getting Physical
If you aren’t already a workout guru, getting out and getting active can give you a whole new perspective. Even if you just go on regular walks, this can dramatically improve your mood and mental health.
Getting fit can also increase your confidence, which is why the term “breakup body” exists. It’s natural for a divorced woman or a divorced man to feel a little insecure, and having a fit body can help reverse this.
Of course, the best reason to work out is to feel healthy and happy, so make sure that is your number one motivation.
9. Change Your Name
If you changed your name when you got married, you know how tedious the process of changing your name can be. Starting the process quickly can stop the process from dragging out, which is essential when you’re also trying to move on.
There are several resources you can use when starting the name-change process. There are websites that provide checklists for all the documents you’ll need, which can be especially helpful if you didn’t handle the name change process when you got married.
If you’d rather not handle it at all, divorce lawyers can make the process smooth and simple and ensure that all the proper paperwork is complete, so you don’t have issues in the future.
10. Take Photos
Now is the time to make new memories, and what better way is there than to take more photographs? Whatever you decide to do with your time now, document it.
What you’re doing with your life at this very moment is what matters, not what happened last year or a few years ago. So, take pictures of your new life and display them in your home, replacing the pictures of your old life.
It’s okay to mourn the life you used to have, but it’s critical that you’re also celebrating the life you have now. It’s a new beginning, and it deserves to be on display.
11. Keep a Journal
A journal is a wonderful way to track how far you’ve come and decide where you want to go. Write a little each day and describe how you’re feeling and what you’re currently up to.
What has changed? Are you feeling more hopeful?
Often, we make more progress than we allow ourselves to see. If you’re feeling like you’re going nowhere, read through your journal and see where you once were. It can instill some motivation in you to keep going.
12. Change Your Will
While changing your will is not the most enjoyable activity, it is something you will need to address, so it’s best to get it out of the way immediately. This is another excellent time to contact your divorce lawyer, as they can help you make the necessary adjustments.
You can also draft a new will yourself; just make sure to make it official.
13. Whiten Your Teeth
If you have teeth that could need some refreshing, why not get them whitened? It is one of the easiest ways to boost your confidence, and if it’s something you’ve never done, there’s never been a better time than now.
This is a time in your life when you may be meeting many new people and having many new opportunities coming your way. White teeth can make you most inclined to take risks and seize the day.
You can choose to get it done at your dentist’s office or buy DIY white strips. Whatever you choose, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to make you feel a little bit better about yourself.
14. Change All Your Passwords
Just like with everything else, there’s a good chance your ex-partner knows all of your passwords or could easily guess them. If this is the case, it’s time to change them all to something brand new.
This is not a case of not trusting them, but rather a case of building something new and independent for yourself. Nobody but you should have the passwords to any of your accounts until you decide to share them again.
While this may not seem immediately necessary, it’s just one more step towards separating yourself from them and starting your new life.
15. Go On a Solo Trip
If you’ve never traveled alone, it’s time to start planning your first solo trip. While you could gather a bunch of friends and plan a friend trip, going solo can allow you to connect with yourself and rediscover who you are when you’re single.
Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and go somewhere you’ve never been before. Try something new while you’re there, and interact with other travelers or people local to the place you’re visiting.
Document your adventures, and write down how you’re feeling through the experience. Getting a divorce is the perfect time to try new things, especially if those things make you scared.
16. Meet Other Divorcées
You don’t necessarily need to join a group of divorcées, but meeting even one or two can help you feel less alone.
These are people who will understand what you’re going through and can offer advice to help you get through it.
You also need a judgment-free zone, and talking to other people who are experiencing what you are can be the perfect place. Just make sure you surround yourself with positive people, and you’ll find that it’s much easier to be positive yourself.
17. Revise Your Bucket List
There’s a good chance you had future plans with your ex-partner that you no longer plan to do. Well, now is the time to replace them and revise your bucket list.
What are the top ten things you want to do before you die? How many of them are you actually planning on doing?
Creating a new bucket list can make life feel more exciting. Just because other plans are canceled does not mean you shouldn’t have new ones.
These plans can be even better than before if you just allow yourself to start thinking of them.
Time to Start Your New Life
Creating a new life after getting a divorce can seem almost impossible. Yet, it’s quite the opposite.
A divorce signifies both the end and a brand new beginning. Now is the optimal time to make your life whatever you want it to be. It’s the time to focus on what makes you happy and to start loving yourself again.
Remember, it’s all about you, so do what you love, and you’re doing it right.
For more life advice, browse through our collection of articles. We have much more information to offer you today.