5 Steps to Building Resilience During Divorce

building resilience

By Mardi Winder-Adams, Certified Divorce Transition Coach, Board Certified Executive Leadership Coach

Divorce is one of the most challenging life transitions, and it can be debilitating on so many levels. The emotional and financial turmoil is often overwhelming, leaving many women feeling lost and vulnerable. But in the middle of all this chaos, building resilience can be your anchor, helping you navigate this time with strength, clarity, and grace.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is not about faking it till you make it or pretending everything is fine. It’s not about ignoring your feelings or using toxic positivity to cover up your pain. Instead, resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenges, adapt to difficulties, and stay flexible in how we think and respond. It involves utilizing internal and external resources to develop a positive way of engaging with the world throughout our lives, even in the bad times.

Resilience is also about recognizing and accepting the full range of human emotions, including sadness, shame, guilt, frustration, anger, embarrassment, humiliation, and even failure. It’s about navigating these emotions in a healthy and constructive way. By developing resilience, you equip yourself with the tools to handle life’s inevitable ups and downs more effectively.

Here are 5 steps to building resilience during divorce:

Step 1: See Yourself as Capable of Managing Challenges (Embrace Visualization)

Active visualization can help you see your way through challenges. Seeing yourself handling conversations with your STBX calmly and effectively, combined with communication skills training, helps achieve this outcome. This is not just a positive mental exercise; successful athletes, performers, and business professionals use visualization. By visualizing a successful outcome, you are more likely to achieve it.

Try this: rate your self-confidence on a scale of 1-10. Now, practice the Hero Stance, a technique introduced by psychologist Amy Cuddy. Stand tall, put your hands on your hips, gaze into the distance, and take up space. Hold this pose for two minutes. While you are doing this, see yourself overcoming a challenge in your life. Add details and really feel a sense of accomplishment. Now, go back and rate your self-confidence. Notice a difference?

Step 2: Shake It Up – Get Out of the Rut

Change can be intimidating, but it’s essential for growth. How do you perceive change? Is it frightening or inspiring? Exploring new experiences can ease you into change, and they don’t have to be big things. Some ideas to start to create change include:

  • Take a new route home.
  • Sleep on a different side of the bed.
  • Eat at a new restaurant.
  • Explore new technology.

Shift your perspective on setbacks. View them as opportunities for growth by keeping a lessons-learned journal. Get comfortable with modifying goals to match your current reality.



Embracing change also means challenging your routines and habits. Small, deliberate changes in your daily life can significantly impact your ability to adapt to more extensive changes. You develop a more flexible and resilient mindset by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone regularly.

Step 3: Develop Your Sense of Control Over Your Life

Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on mindset distinguishes between fixed and growth mindsets. Those with a fixed mindset avoid challenges and see effort as futile. In contrast, those with a growth mindset embrace challenges, view effort as a path to mastery, and learn from criticism.

To develop a growth mindset, assess your strengths and weaknesses. Create a plan to fill gaps through coaching, mentoring, or training. Set written goals and micro-goals to visualize and track your progress and growth. Celebrate what YOU have made happen in your life throughout this process.

Cultivating a sense of control over your life involves taking proactive steps to shape your future. Whether seeking new learning opportunities, engaging in personal development, or setting clear, actionable goals, each step you take reinforces your ability to influence your destiny.

Step 4: Infuse Your Life with Positivity

Surround yourself with positive relationships. Find your tribe – the people who support you and share your values and goals. Limit time spent with toxic individuals.

Giving back to others is a powerful way to infuse positivity into your life. Practice daily acts of kindness, no matter how small. Authenticity in these actions brings immense positivity to your life.

Create a bucket list of things you want to achieve or experience. Reintroduce activities from your past that brought you joy. These practices help anchor you in positive experiences and aspirations.

Positivity is not just about maintaining a cheerful demeanor; it’s about actively cultivating an environment that nurtures and supports your well-being. By prioritizing positive relationships and meaningful activities, you create a buffer against the negative impacts of stress and adversity.

Step 5: Forgive Yourself

You cannot move forward positively if you’re stuck in the past. Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” Forgive yourself for past mistakes. Write a letter for your eyes only detailing how you’ve changed and grown, acknowledging your progress. This act of self-forgiveness is crucial for moving forward with resilience.

Forgiving is about letting go and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and these mistakes are opportunities for learning and self-improvement. By practicing self-compassion and forgiveness, you free yourself to move forward with a lighter heart and a clearer mind.

Building resilience during divorce is not about pretending everything is fine but developing the strength to bounce back from challenges. Remember, resilience is a journey, not a destination. With each step, you become stronger, more capable, and more empowered to live on your terms.

Mardi Winder-Adams
Mardi Winder-Adams, Certified Divorce Transition Coach


Mardi Winder-Adams is a Certified Divorce Transition Coach and a Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS), as well as a Board Certified Executive and Leadership Coach working with entrepreneurs and executives. With over a decade of coaching experience and over 25 years as a credentialed mediator in the United States and Canada, Mardi knows how often women’s voices are not heard in mediation, negotiation, and discussions throughout the legal process.

Through experiencing her own divorce and working with women through the divorce process, Mardi can empathize with the stress, frustration, overwhelm, and challenge of this life-changing event. She is here to support you in getting the right professionals, resources, and processes in place for you to go through divorce confidently and on your own terms.

Divorce is difficult, messy, and sometimes even ugly, but you don’t have to go through it on your own. 

Mardi’s services are most effective for women who are :

    • In the process of separation or divorce
    • Interested in making the best decisions on behalf of themselves and their children
    • Focused on minimizing the financial impact of divorce
    • Want to have confidence they are in control of the process

Click here to receive Mardi’s Resilience Building Blueprint: A 28-day Journey to Becoming a Stronger You!


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