Learning how to reinvent ourselves throughout life is an essential skill set. Whether going through a divorce, a break up, or a new stage of life, change is inevitable, but far from easy. Going through a divorce can be the perfect opportunity to re-connect with yourself, and get back to being in a healthy state emotionally and physically so you can move forward in a positive and mindful way.
We spoke with Natalia Juarez, a Breakup Coach and Dating Strategist (and an empowering woman who turned her called-off engagement into a full-time job) (!) for her tips on the do’s and don’ts of reinventing yourself after divorce.
Take control of your situation
Do focus on yourself and get to know yourself as you are now:
After being in a relationship for so long, it takes many of us time and effort to let go of our “couple identity.” I encourage newly single divorcees to first spend quality time with yourself, to get know yourself as you are now, which will give you clarity as to what you want to do with the next chapter of your life. Reinventing yourself can truly be an incredible opportunity to connect with your authentic self. It’s a chance to be who you really are, now. Struggling to connect to yourself? Engage in mindful practices such as yoga and journaling.
Don’t focus on your ex-partner:
Focusing on what your partner is or isn’t doing is unproductive. Far too often, I see people move into resentment by fixating/obsessing on how they think their partner is “winning.” Maybe their ex-husband is now working out and in great shape, and friends have seen him out on dates with younger women, or he is already online — whatever it is, it doesn’t matter! These are unproductive thoughts that will cause unnecessary stress. Take back your power, and focus on living your best life.
Finally do what you’ve been putting off
I know it sounds over simplistic, but one of the most effective things you can do for yourself post-divorce is to do the things you love (and do less of the things you don’t love). Do something that lights you up, and gives you energy! Start that new business you’ve been thinking about for years, learn how to dance, take that trip, etc. Use this time as an opportunity to do something for you. It’s this radiant energy that will help you balance out the negative emotions you may be dealing with and give a sense of purpose to your divorce.
Don’t become bitter:
Don’t let your divorce break you. Far too often I see divorcees (more often women) let their divorce define them, and as a result they make the decision that love is not for them and that they are better off alone. Refuse to accept this narrative for your life. Instead, choose to believe that you grow through this experience and understand that rebuilding your life after a divorce can take years. And that’s ok.
Take care of your physical health
Do get active and eat healthy, nutritious foods:
I cannot stress enough the importance of being healthy as a part of reinventing yourself after a divorce. This includes eating clean, exercising, resting, etc. Making time to exercise may be challenging, but there are many benefits that will directly impact you in the short-term and the long-term. Exercising doesn’t have to be difficult. Research shows that as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic exercise, three days a week can help people feel happier, have more energy, increase overall self-esteem, and sleep better — all important factors post-divorce. Exercise directly impacts our happiness by reducing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the body, leaving you feeling more relaxed. It’s hard to reinvent yourself when you’re worried or stressed. One of the most underrated benefits of exercise is the boost it gives to our overall sense of self-esteem. Knowing we’re taking the time and making the effort to care for ourselves can help us to accept ourselves and to compare ourselves less to others, including our ex.
Don’t let yourself go:
It’s completely understandable to feel blue for a while after a divorce, but this is not a good reason to give up on taking the best possible care of yourself. It is your number one priority to be your own best friend. It’s ok to grieve the ending of your relationship, but at some point you have to pick yourself up. Make the choice to grow through this experience, and if you need help, find a therapist, coach or mentor. Taking great care of yourself will not only make you feel better about yourself on a day to day basis, but it will also greatly assist you in having more success in the dating world once you are ready for new love. It’s win-win!
With these hands-on tips, you can move towards a shift in your mentality and your relationship with yourself and flourish in healthy, mindful ways in order to make yourself feel whole again.