157 Things to do for Yourself After Divorce

By | 2017-10-31T10:05:06+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Divorce, Wellness|0 Comments

Its official: the ink on your divorce papers is dry and your union is officially dissolved. You can now enter into a new, fundamental relationship — with yourself. You might very well be asking yourself, how did I get here? Will I remember how to be single? What now?

Every marriage and divorce is unique. Maybe your divorce was amicable. Maybe you’re ready to celebrate! Maybe you have children to consider — maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re relieved, heartbroken, exhausted… Any which way, now is not the time for looking back, but rather for looking forward. Usher in the new era: the ‘You Era’.

Yes, it’s overwhelming. Yes, you can do it.

Here is a list to get you started:

I. First and Foremost:

1. Let yourself mourn.
Divorce represents a loss whether it was something you wanted or not.

2. Work through your emotions.
Identify your true emotions and wallow in them. Are you hurt, angry, or confused? Get your feelings out in front and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel them. Acknowledging your emotions is already great progress.

3. Challenge your negative feelings.
Re-engage the world.

4. Rediscover the old you.
Did you change as a person during your marriage? Did you sacrifice something you used to enjoy for the sake of your partner? Rediscover and reinstate what you deferred in favor of your marriage.

5. Learn to like yourself.
Divorce can leave people feeling rejected. Work on boosting your confidence, restoring your faith, and rebuilding your self-worth.

6. Spend time alone.
Being alone does not have to make you feel lonely or isolated. Don’t rush to become part of a couple again – enjoy flying solo.

7. Try a new lifestyle.
Shake things up and explore a new side of yourself.

8. Embrace your new role.
The uncomfortable and unfamiliar can be freeing.

9. Keep a healthy distance.
Scale back on communication with your (soon-to-be) ex-spouse. Take a break from your old relationship to pursue the new. Avoid getting stranded in the past.

10. Get back out there.
Explore transitional relationships. Leave your comfort zone and say ‘yes’ to dating!

II. Take Care of Business:

11. Request all your files from your attorney.
Collect paperwork from your case and file it away.

12. Move those files to an unseen location.
Simply seeing a box of divorce papers can stir up tough emotions. Let your wounds heal.

13. Store copies of your divorce decree in a safety deposit box and on your computer.
Be sure to secure both a hard copy and electronic backup.

14. Locate your marriage license.
Keep your marriage license with your final divorce decree. You might need it if you wish to restore your maiden name.

15. Update your driver’s license.
Did you change your name or your address? Make sure your license is current.

16. Update your social security card.
Make sure your social security card reflects your name if changed.

17. Update your will.
Does your last will and testament represent your post-divorce intentions?

18. Register a new email address.
Create a new, independent online identity.

19. Change your online passwords.
Your ex-spouse was likely privy to some of your commonly used passwords. Make your online accounts more secure.

20. Open a new bank account.
If you once shared a joint account with your spouse, it is time to open an individual account.

21. Start your own credit profile.
Begin building your own financial presence as a single person.

22. Consult a career coach.
If you are reentering the workforce after some time off, consider hiring a career coach to assist you with job opportunities, career advice, skills workshops, personal support, and resources.

23. Update your LinkedIn profile.
Make your best, most current you visible to employers.

III. For Yourself:

24. Make a plan.
Get organized. Buy a new calendar, make some lists, and replace clutter with tranquility.

25. Don’t make a plan!
Let’s head west on the 20, in a car we can’t afford, with a plan we don’t have.

26. Create a vision board.
Turn your hopes, dreams, and desires into a functional reality.

27. Explore your creative side.
Write, draw, dance, paint, mediate, listen, play, etc.

28. Try something new at the salon.
The effectiveness of eyebrow threading is a wonder you have yet to behold.

29. Whiten your teeth.
Visit your dentist or invest in some Whitestrips.

30. Take pictures.
Learn to appreciate the beauty around you in a new, enlightened way. Snap a picture as you make new memories and experience life’s pleasures. Take photos of your life now and post them on Facebook or display them in frames. Feel good about your new, beautiful world.

31. Start keeping a journal.
Start writing down anything from meaningful experiences to random thoughts. A journal can help you keep track of just how far you’ve come.

32. Renew or get a passport.
Open yourself up to the endless possibilities of travel.

33. Make a bucket list.
Compile a list that reflects both who you are and who you want to be.

34. Start working out.
Join a gym, test a studio, or break in a new pair of running shoes. Exercising for even ten minutes a day will release endorphins and lift your mood, as well as keep you fit and healthy.

35. Reach out to an old friend.
Is there someone in your life with whom you’ve lost touch? Catch up with a simple Facebook message.

36. Let it be known that you are official back on the market.
Let friends and family know that you are single and ready to mingle!

37. Unlock some of the passions you’ve been meaning to foster.
Attend to the hobbies that have fallen off your radar.

38. Look into further education.
It’s never too late to learn new things. A major life change like divorce is an excellent time to think about next steps in your career. Get some information on those local courses or master’s programs you’ve always wondered about. It is also a great way to meet new and interesting people.

39. Find a therapist.
Therapists can help you cope with your emotions and pursue a new and healthy life. Talking about what you are going through is an excellent, therapeutic way to deal with your emotions and adjust to the changes.

40. Find a support group.
Look into a safe space that offers support and positive thoughts from other divorcé(e)s.

41. Go on a trip alone.
Now that your passport is up-to-date, push yourself to escape your comfort zone and explore new things. Dare yourself to be open to new adventures you might have never before considered.

42. Invent a personal mantra.
What would help you get through the day? “Say yes more.” “I am powerful.” Maybe, “it is what it is.”

43. Ask someone to be your divorce buddy.
Designate someone to call in an emergency, someone who will listen with an open heart when you’re feeling down. Even if you don’t use your buddy for this purpose, find comfort in knowing he/she is there.

44. Consider creating an online dating profile.
If you’re ready to start dating, you might want to explore dating sites and applications. Take the time to set up a profile that will attract the kind of attention you want. Have a little fun and get back out there.

45. Plan weekly or monthly events.
Keep one consistent event in your calendar that you can look forward to, something that excites you. It can be as inconsequential as a manicure appointment or movie night with friends.

46. Maintain good memories of your relationship.
This might seem painful, but tainting the memory of your marriage with negative thoughts will result in further pain and feelings of waste and loss.

47. Forgive your ex-spouse.
Forgiveness heals deep emotional wounds and allows you to move on with your own life.

48. Forgive yourself.
You must forgive yourself for being anything less than perfect during your marriage, throughout your divorce, and now.

IV. Make a Change

50. Change your wardrobe.
Your clothes should reflect the new you. You might be interviewing for a new job. You might be dating! You might be appreciating time out with your friends more than ever before. Eliminate the “I don’t have anything to wear” excuse.

51. Change your ex-spouse’s name in your contacts.
You might want to revise “hubby” or “wifey” in your address book to conform to your standard naming convention.

52. Change your hair.
What’s a life change without a new ‘do? Test out a new cut or color. Have you ever wanted to experiment with highlights? Did you ever wonder if a pixie cut would complement your face shape? Do blondes really have more fun?

53. Change your Facebook status.
Make your break-up Facebook official.

54. Change your music playlists.
Protect yourself from songs that remind you of brighter times in your relationship. Replace nostalgic tunes with something new and inspiring.

55. Change your make up.
A divorce is an excellent opportunity to try new products and techniques by which you might have been intrigued, or those you never even considered. Mix things up a bit.

56. Change your perfume or cologne.
If you’re not too attached to your signature scent, switch it up, particularly if it reminds you of your ex-spouse.

57. Change your weekend plans.
Now that you have some extra free time at your disposal, spend it with friends and family. Or cash in some much needed “me” time.

58. Change your workout routine.
Sign up for a barre class or take advantage of that free trial at the boxing gym down the street.

59. Change your skincare regiment.
Spice up a repetitive skincare routine with free samples or at-home remedies.

60. Change your bedding.
Replace those sheets you shared with your ex-spouse with a thread count that is all yours.

61. Change your room décor.
Does your décor reflect your couple style or your personal style? Now that your space is all yours again, embrace it with a new coat of paint or fresh piece of furniture. Turn your living space into a sanctuary.

V. Savor Simple Pleasures:

62. Attend an alumni event.
Take advantage of an opportunity to interact with fellow alumni, meet new people, network, and show your school pride.

63. Invite a coworker to happy hour.
Celebrate the end of the workday with company.

64. Learn how to make pesto.
Make something fresh, homemade, easy, and delicious.

65. Join the office softball team.
Meet people from work and your local community who share your interests. Either learn a new skill or demonstrate that you’re a leader.

66. Adopt a rescue animal.
Add a lovable pet to your family! Not only will you save an animal from shelter life, but you will also gain newfound company, affection, and responsibility.

67. Learn to knit.
Pick up knitting or crocheting as a relaxing and rewarding new crafting skill.

68. Go hiking.
Enjoy the great outdoors, increase your strength and stamina, save money, and expand your horizons.

69. Start a cooking blog.
Create opportunities to tell your story through blogging. Organize your thoughts, build a rapport, and attract an audience. Or, just do it for you.

70. Plant an herb garden.
Cultivate your green thumb while also accentuating your cooking.

71. Go bird watching.
Birds are beautiful, interesting, and inspiring. Create treasonable moments as a bird watcher.

72. Take a design class.
A design class will force you think differently, make your schedule less monotonous, and help you cultivate your creativity.

73. Buy an adult coloring book.
Not only are adult coloring books a blast, but they are also great for emotional, mental, and intellectual health.

74. Go out to eat and ask your server to surprise you.
This is a great way to make your day more exciting and to discover new and delicious dishes at your favorite restaurants.

75. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Improve your conversation skills and self-confidence. Interacting with those around you is part of the recipe for a great day.

76. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers.
Stop and smell the roses.

77. Walk the dog.
Take your furry friend on a new route.

78. Drive with all the windows down.
Let your hair down, turn up the music, and enjoy the fresh air.

79. Go to a sporting event.
Soak in the enthusiasm and sense of community of the crowd at a sporting event. Grab yourself a hot dog while you’re at it.

80. Restore an old piece of furniture.
Breathe life into a piece of worn down furniture. Become a furniture hobbyist and restore antiques to like-new conditions.

81. Find a local farmers market.
Get out and enjoy the real flavors of the season while also supporting local farmers.

82. Host a bonfire and s’mores party.
A bonfire is a low-maintenance excuse to invite friends and family to a memorable gathering hosted by you.

83. Master a new recipe.
Skip the takeout and impress yourself with a new culinary skill.

84. Make ice cream sandwiches.
Enjoy something sweet and homemade.

85. Take some online or magazine quizzes.
These quizzes will tell you anything from your personality type to which Disney sidekick you are.

86. Clean out your handbag or briefcase.
Finally sift through old lip-glosses, receipts, and business cards. Clear both the physical and mental clutter.

87. Go to the beach.
Exfoliate with sand, splash in the soothing salt water, and bask in the sun.

88. Upload those pictures you’ve been meaning to share for over a year now.
Show off your achievements as a photographer, a social butterfly, and a voyager.

89. Visit your parents.
Nothing beat a good home-cooked meal by Mom and the therapeutic nostalgia of home.

90. Fly a kite.
Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height!

91. Stargaze.
Lose yourself in the nighttime sky. Make a wish upon a shooting star.

92. Play a classic board game, e.g., Trivial Pursuit.
Challenge friends at this classic game of wits.

93. Play a new board game, e.g., Trivial Pursuit 2000’s.
Challenge friends at this classic game of wits with a modern twist.

94. See a Broadway show.
Experience the bright lights and dazzling spectacles of Broadway in an exciting atmosphere.

95. Play a card game.
Sharpen the mind by playing cards by yourself or with friends.

96. Assemble a scavenger hunt.
Gain problem-solving skills and creativity with this fun group activity.

97. Watch an excellent movie.
Appreciate the art of cinema.

98. Watch a terrible movie.
Make a bowl of popcorn and give your brain a much-needed break.

99. Give into the latest fad.
Why not see what all the fuss is about?

100. Binge-watch a television series.
Catch up on popular shows and forgo the suspense of waiting weeks between episodes.

101. Go rock climbing.
Rock climbing trains your focus and builds your confidence.

102. Swing on the swings.
Be a kid again. Dust off your hula-hoop and roller skates and let loose.

103. Get a fun manicure.
Mix relaxation with amusement.

104. Throw a party.
Host a party for any occasion from a birthday to National Donut Day.

105. Read a book for pleasure.
Turn off the screens and get lost in your imagination.

106. Read a book you’ve been pretending you’ve read for ages.
Add a classic to your repertoire.

107. Read the news.
Stay informed on issues ranging from local, international, classifieds, social, and weather.

108. Try a new fast food restaurant.
Declare today a “cheat day.”

109. Feed the ducks.
Bring a few pieces of day-old bread to the local pond.

110. Go to the park.
Parks are a free, easy way to feel happier, healthier, and connect with friends.

111. Host a game night.
Throw together a few appetizers and have friends over for a friendly game of Monopoly.

112. Bake a pie.
Your nose and stomach will thank you.

113. Volunteer.
Donate your time to a soup kitchen or animal shelter.

114. Get to know your neighbors.
Do you find yourself surrounded by near-strangers? Spend some time on the front porch, attend a neighborhood event, or gift a plate of muffins.

115. Go fishing.
Fishing is relaxing activity that might produce tonight’s dinner.

116. Check out a library book.
Local libraries have a lot to offer to the community.

117. Rearrange the furniture in your house.
Give your home a new look without buying a single thing.

118. Visit the zoo.
Zoos are not just for children. Visit the zoo for animal encounters, informative signs, and other fun activities.

119. Watch the sunset.
Behold the vast, natural canvas of the sky.

120. Watch the sunrise.
Catch the sunrise one morning before starting your day.

121. Volunteer to baby or dog-sit.
Collect baby laughter and dog kisses.

122. Pack a picnic.
Pack the perfect picnic and enjoy the outdoors with a meal.

123. Go on a bike ride.
Biking is a fun workout, increases happiness and convenience, and costs nothing.

124. Pick your own apples or other fruit.
Brighten your kitchen with the colors of the season.

125. Spend a day at the museum.
Museums inspire, support the community, and provide an effective way of learning.

126. Donate clothes to a thrift store.
Donate ensembles that have remained untouched for years.

127. Conquer a jigsaw puzzle.
Puzzles are excellent for brain training, logic skills, and coordination improvement. They’re fun, too!

128. Get caught in the rain.
Experience the pure joy of standing unprotected and uninhibited in the middle of a storm.

129. Take a free online class.
Learn something new from the comfort of your own home.

130. Attend a community play.
Support a local theater at some serious entertainment value.

131. Write a letter.
Choose an envelope and stamp over a text.

132. Go bowling.
Don a pair of bowling shoes for some friendly competition.

133. Sift through a garage sale.
Uncover treasures at unbeatable prices.

134. Help someone in need.
Set a positive and powerful tone for your day by giving to others.

135. Visit a local nursing home.
Visiting seniors helps them to feel young and happy. You will undoubtedly leave with new stories from yesteryear and a better appreciation for life.

136. Start an arts and crafts project.
Craft activities are a fun outlet for creativity and expression.

VI. Let Go:

137. Sleep in.
Let your body and mind rest and regenerate.

138. Take a sick day.
Let the world turn without you today.

139. Neglect to shave your legs.
Save 5 minutes of shower time for other, more fun activities.

140. Go a few days without showering.
Enjoy even more time for other activities.

141. Then take a long, sudsy bubble bath.
…with a good book.

142. Eat breakfast in bed.
Don’t worry about the crumbs.

143. Let go of a grudge.
You deserve not to be weighed down by the past. Give yourself closure when other won’t.

144. Let go of pride.
Learn from your mistakes and let them help you improve all areas of your life.

145. Let go of the need to be in control.
As you probably gleaned from your divorce, we plan and God laughs. The sooner you accept that no one is entirely in control of her life, the sooner you can hone a healthier, more well grounded mindset.

146. Let go of the need to be certain.
Accept that life is unpredictable. Imperfect decisions add vibrant color.

147. Let go of insecurity.
Stop judging yourself! Your loved ones love you for you.

148. Let go of judgment.
If dwelling on the choices of others isn’t helping you live your own, best life, it is time to let go.

149. Let go of the past.
Try to process the past in a cathartic way – do not dwell on it.

150. Let go of the need to be perfect.
You know by now that it is neither attainable, nor fun! Accept the things you cannot change. Learn to value life’s drawbacks.

151. Let go of toxic people.
Only surround yourself with people who make you happy. Use your time and energy investing in the people who matter and those who add benevolence to your life.

152. Let go of your addictions.
Consuming addictions include much more than drugs or alcohol. Maybe you’re addicted to drama, to gossip, to candy bars, or to the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Give yourself a break and challenge yourself to live without.

153. Let go of other peoples’ expectations.
Nobody knows what is best for you better than you. Accept that you simply cannot make everyone happy.

154. Let go of your comfort zone.
Allow yourself a chance to grow as a person. Forge new frontiers, explore new environments, take on new roles, and enter into new relationships. View your comfort zone as a safe haven, not a prison.

155. Let go of the idea that your best days are behind you.
It’s simply not true. Live like the best is yet to come, and permit your best days to arrive.

156. Let go of the belief that only someone else can make you happy.
The notion that happiness is something that other people can give you is a false belief. No one else’s attention, love, or approval can substitute your own. While other people can usher meaning and happiness into your life, it is essential that you first learn to love and depend on yourself.

VII. A Final Thought

Remember this: you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. It might feel daunting at the moment, but if the above list is any indication, it can be quite fun to discover independence, especially with the right attitude and support.

This is a temporary hurdle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can collect some good advice while reminding yourself that everyone has had his/her heart broken once, and recovered.

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