Picking Up the Pieces After Divorce

Divorce

Roughly half of marriages in both the UK and the US end in divorce, but, whilst divorce rates are falling or plateauing in other age groups, later-life (or silver) divorce is on the rise.

Most people understand the risks that marriage brings, but no one gets married with the expectation of dealing with divorce. According to AARP, women initiate about 60% of US divorces after age 40,  However, even if you were the person who instigated it, divorce ranks as one of the most stressful situations anyone can go through. Dealing with a divorce and its aftermath is no small matter. It requires patience and stamina. There are no shortcuts.

That doesn’t mean that the process of getting over a divorce will take years. How long it takes is largely up to you. There is life after divorce.

These tips will help you move on to your new life as a single person:

  1. Give yourself time before dating again. How much time you require is an individual decision. But there’s no rush. When you begin dating before you’re ready, not only are you potentially creating additional challenges for yourself, but consider your dates, too! They might be getting more than they bargained for. Take the time you need to heal.

  2. Take the opportunity to make over your life. Now might be the perfect time to join a gym, start a new hobby, or travel. When you’re married, you have to accommodate the needs and wishes of another person. You can give yourself more consideration for a change.

  • What would you like to change about yourself and your life?

  1. Learn from your divorce. What went wrong? What did you learn? What were the good and bad qualities of your partner? What type of person do you believe would be the best match for you? What mistakes did you make along the way?

  • A divorce is painful, but a great learning opportunity. You can have much more confidence in your next relationship if you use what you learn.

  1. Forgive. You can’t truly move on until you’ve forgiven your ex-spouse. This may take time. But you’re never really free until you’re able to forgive.

  2. Get the support you need. This might take the form of a friend or family member. There are also support groups for the newly divorced. Avoid the mistake of attempting to navigate your healing process alone.

  3. Maintain your daily routines. This means to continue to bathe, brush your teeth, and so on each day. Continue to eat healthy meals. Go to bed at your normal time. Keep your normal social outings. It’s easy to fall into a slump and to allow the quality of your life to deteriorate. Some things will change, but many things can stay the same.

  4. Avoid making your situation worse. This isn’t the time to overeat, drink excessively, or start using drugs. A rebound relationship also isn’t advised. Get your feet back on the ground and avoid doing anything that can make your challenging circumstances ever harder.

  5. Get out of the house. Not only can you keep your previous social schedule, you can consider adding to it. Join a yoga class or a golf league. Create something new that you can enjoy with others. You won’t find any solutions while you’re sitting on the couch, staring out the window.

  6. Share your feelings with a divorced friend. It’s important to talk to someone who has had the same experience. Confide in someone that has successfully moved on from divorce.

  7. If you're female, join us in the Association of Retired Single Women Facebook group.  We're a friendly lot - mostly happy to be single and not particularly looking for another relationship (but we haven't completely closed that door to the right person.) Instead, we try to get the most out of our lives - traveling, hobbies, moving to new areas (or new countries!), some of us are still working and some are starting retirement businesses.

Divorce is stressful and unsettling. There are almost 900,000 divorces each year in the United States and over 111,000 in the UK. You’re certainly not alone. Give yourself time to grieve and heal. In time, your life can be even better than it was before. Use this opportunity to reinvent yourself and your life.

Here are the questions from the above post turned into journalling prompts:

 

Bonus: Download the journalling prompts in a downloadable .pdf booklet to print out and keep Click here to get it


Simple Everyday Ways to Take Care of Yourself

"You're retired... what have YOU got to be stressed about?"

Has anyone ever said something like that to you?

They don't know the half of it, do they? 


Caring for elderly relatives, running around after the grandkids, too much to do now that you're retired, too little to do now that you're retired, loneliness, your health not as good as it used to be, aches and pains where you never used to have them, money worries, watching your family dealing with their own money worries and not being able to help...

the fact that you're no longer working doesn't mean that the things that cause you stress retired at the same time you did!

Self care is vitally important not just for stress relief but also for overall mental health. It can do everything from helping you get over a bad day to improving your self confidence. It also doesn’t take a lot to take proper care of yourself. Here are some different ways to practice self care every day...

Keep  a Journal

A really excellent way to start practicing self care every day is to keep a journal. This is something you can easily keep with you no matter where you are, whether you put it in your handbag or pocket, or you have a digital journal on your computer. It's good to have something to write in even when your laptop is out of charge, so keep a journal and pen handy and get writing! With journaling, you're able to write in it whenever you feel stressed or just to mull over what happened each day. It can be very cathartic.

Have Some Alone Time Every Day

If you're busy, busy, busy and always surrounded by people and noise, make sure you have at least a few minutes each day all to yourself. This can be a 30-minute walk that you go on after dinner, a fun 15-minute dance party to your favourite oldies radio station, or just 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up while you enjoy your cup of coffee. It can seem so simple and minimal, but these little stretches of time where you're alone and just doing something for yourself can make all the difference.

And if you have a bit too much alone time and not seeing enough people is becoming a problem for you, check out our 10-Step Checklist for Making and Keeping New Friends or, if you live in the UK, visit the DO IT website and punch in your postcode to see all the volunteering opportunities in your area.

Get More Exercise

Sometimes helping your physical health is also important, so don’t forget about exercise. This will make you feel better about yourself and raise your self confidence, which also helps your mental state. Plus, exercise is really good for helping to relieve your stress and the endorphins you get from it can be tremendous for improving your mood. You don’t need to go to the gym for an hour every day either. Something as simple as an afternoon walk or doing a bit of weight lifting in the morning before your shower is perfect. You can also take advantage of other activities that also include exercise, like taking your dog for longer walks or taking the grandkids hiking over the weekend so everybody is exercising more.

In addition to exercise, you should also be focusing on proper diet by drinking more water and eating healthier. This is all part of taking better care of yourself. But you know this already! Just stick to it and if you fall off the wagon and have the odd cheat day or two, get back on it a.s.a.p. and don't beat yourself up too much.