A marriage takes the lives of two individual people and merges them together. It’s a promise both you and your spouse make to stop thinking about yourselves and start thinking about each other’s future. This is why when a marriage comes to an end, it can be difficult for you to refocus your attention on yourself.
Whether it’s because you have children you need to care for, legal matters you need to attend to, or you’re simply too accustomed to the habits that took years to form, it can be difficult to learn how to focus on you again.
But the one beauty that comes from a divorce is the freedom to be a little selfish and to take the time to relearn who you are as an individual. This article will give you the steps you need to do that.
Find A New “Normal”
One of the most important things to do when coming out of a divorce is retraining your brain to think as a single person. After a period of time, you become used to a routine that revolves around that of your partner’s schedule. The first step to focusing on yourself is to create a new routine that is completely centered around you and what you want and need to do.
Look at all the places in your schedule that may have revolved around your partner, and change them to make sense for you as an individual. Maybe you used to call your spouse to pass the time during your lunch break at work, but instead, you can spend that time catching up with your coworkers. You may have had to wait to watch your favorite show until you could watch with your partner, but now you can look forward to watching that show the day it airs.
It’s tricky to suddenly change your routine, especially if you’ve had the same one for a long time. But once you start forming new habits that are specific to your own wants, needs, and responsibilities, it will be easy to become accustomed to the new lifestyle that’s all about you.
Make Self-Care A Priority
It’s easy to make time for other people and other responsibilities that need your attention, but it’s also important to make taking care of yourself a top priority. Self-care is all about showering yourself with love and affection, and reminding yourself that you are worth it.
Self-care comes in a variety of forms, from spending a little more time pampering yourself with a new skincare routine to reading that new self-help book you keep hearing everyone talk about. You could even take yourself on an extravagant solo vacation just for a change of scenery. While that may seem a little scary, there are helpful travel guides that teach you how to make the most of your trip.
Regardless of how you choose to show yourself a little extra love, investing the time to take care of yourself is the perfect way to focus your attention on your own wants and needs.
Commit To Your Health
While you’re coming up with ways to implement a little self-care into your life, don’t leave your physical health out of the equation. The end of a marriage can lead to a small period of depression, which can cause you to neglect your basic needs like eating a healthy diet and getting the proper amount of sleep. A great way to focus on yourself and start practicing self-care is to take care of your physical needs.
Start by making the commitment to change your diet habits. The way you eat has a huge effect on the way you feel both physically and mentally, which is why it’s so important to eat a well-balanced diet. If you find yourself eating out often, try to incorporate cooking into your weekly routine by making one day a week your meal prep day. Work to make your meals more nutritious by filling your plate with leafy vegetables and vitamin-packed foods to give you the energy you need to make it through the day. If this is a new concept for you, consider joining a well-balanced weight loss program that teaches you how to form healthier eating and lifestyle habits. The community that many of these programs offer can help provide you with the support and relationships that make it easy to stay on track. From swapping healthy recipes to holding one another accountable in general, this community can make you feel less alone and lost in your transition.
Do Things You Couldn’t Do While Married
We sometimes give up some of our favorite activities when we get married, whether it be because our spouse wasn’t a fan or because we didn’t have time to do them while we focus on building a family. Divorce gives you the freedom to do the things you enjoy without having to worry if someone else will enjoy doing them as well.
If you never went out dancing because your partner didn’t like it, then go out social dancing with a group of your friends. If you enjoyed watching scary movies but never could because your partner couldn’t sleep at night, have a horror movie night and binge on the latest scary movies that you missed out on! It could be as simple as cooking a meal that they didn’t enjoy or sleeping in the middle of the bed and spreading out instead of being confined to one side. Your life is yours now to do with it what you want, so make the most of it by doing the things you used to love to do!
Ask For “Me Time”
The stress of a divorce is enough to drive anyone insane. If you’ve got too many people pulling you in too many directions, don’t be afraid to ask for time to yourself. If your children are older, allow them to take on a little bit more responsibility and explain to them that it will be a huge help for you as you’re going through this tough time. If you have any leftover PTO, be a little selfish and use that time to heal your wounds. Make sure that you’re giving yourself the time to heal and grow from this experience.
In the same breath, ask for help if you need to. There’s no shame in being honest and saying that you’re having trouble getting through this alone. If you truly want to focus on yourself, then you have to give yourself what you need. If that’s alone time, then do that. If it’s a deep conversation with someone you trust, do that as well. Your “you time” can be whatever you want and need it to be, so make sure you start utilizing it.