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Self-Care After Divorce

Recovering after divorce is very difficult. Dealing with the stigma and shame can be devastating and restoring yourself in society (and the church) can be painstaking. When a woman has been Mrs. Somebody all her adult life, and she wakes up one day as a single woman, it is hard to adjust to this new status. That makes me think of a time back when the title Ms. Was introduced into the English language. Its original intent was not to identify a woman by her marital status, as men were not identified that way. I didn’t like the title and thought “what woman wants to be identified as Ms. Somebody.” Well, now I am no longer Mrs. Somebody. No denying it. Some women choose to retain their married name. In my case, my ex asked for his name back, so I gave it back to him. Now, kicking and screaming, I am Ms. Jones, here to give you some tips on how to survive and care for yourself after the big “D.”

1. First thing is to forgive. He or she may have hurt you deeply and left some emotional scars. Yes, it hurts to know that someone doesn’t love you anymore. You have to forgive him or her, and then you have to forgive yourself for not trying harder, for not loving more, for not doing more, and for all those what-ifs.

2. After forgiveness comes healing. This healing has to take place in order for you to move on. When possible, get counseling. I was in counseling for a year.

3. Forget about avenging your hurt. The Lord will avenge your pain – just wait on Him.

4. Learn to love yourself again! How do you do that when all your dignity and self-esteem have been stripped away?

a. Get rid of everything that causes you pain. If you’re using the same sheets, get rid of them. Burn them if you must! Change your furniture around; redecorate when possible. Not only did I change the locks, but I also changed the whole door!

b. Change your hairstyle: Cut, twist, lock, perm, or whatever. Just adopt a new look

c. Find a picture of yourself taken at a happier time and vow to look like that again. Look in the mirror each day and tell yourself you’re beautiful. Love what you see. d. Get dressed up and take yourself out to dinner. Enjoy your Table for one, please!”

5. Get a manicure and a pedicure. Then show off your pretty feet in some strappy shoes or peep-toes, or high heels.

6. Everybody can’t replace their wardrobe, but you can make some changes. Add a scarf or pin to your dress or suit; add some color. When you look pretty, you feel pretty, and it does wonders for your self-esteem.

7. Engage in activities that you enjoy. Go to a play or to a concert, to the symphony, or to a museum.

8. Invite a friend for lunch or dinner.

9. Avoid twosomes or couple events (they only remind you of yesterday).

10. You won’t be the same after divorce, but you will survive. Press for the mark of the high calling and run the race with patience, remembering that the race is not given to the swift, nor is it given to the strong, but she or he who endures to the end will gain the prize.

Take care of yourself, your prize awaits!

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