Happy new year, you beautiful Divorced girl! (or guy or almost divorced girl or guy). To end the year, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your readership and involvement in the DGS community. I love hearing from you, getting updates, and reading all the nice sentiments that keep me inspired to keep DGS going!
Whether you are thinking about divorce ,just now separating, recently separated or broken up, in the thick of your divorce, divorced and lonely, or dating and frustrated after divorce, to ring in the new year, I’d like to offer you some help in staying happy and healthy.
Happy New Year, Beautiful! Here are my 23 tips to a beautiful year ahead:
1. Do not doubt yourself.
If you make rational decisions and trust your gut, they might not always turn out to be right, but doubting yourself about anything doesn’t help. Do the best you you can. Doubt only complicates things. It’s unnecessary.
2. Remember that you can reinvent yourself at any age.
When people get divorced, it can make them feel lost, like you don’t really know who you are as a non-married person. I think that’s normal. I also think that is a wonderful opportunity because this huge change is forcing you to figure out who you are now. That could mean as a parent, friend, romantic partner, and/or professionally.
Do you know how many people I know who got divorced and then reinvented themselves by doing something they were passionate about, but were too scared when they were married to step outside their comfort zone and pursue it? COUNTLESS people, including me!
People think they are “too old” to change careers. My opinion is that the older you get, (despite the wrinkles, health challenges and weight gain–LOL) the smarter and more efficient you get. Older people can be more daring-in a good way. They are more self-confident, smarter, and more at peace. They are more mature, less impulsive. They see the bigger picture. Getting older truly does have advantages. You just have to have the guts to change what you don’t like, no matter what age you are.
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
I can name 20 women whose bodies I envy or whose houses I wish I could live in. But, I know nothing deeper than what I see. I don’t know if they are happily married, I don’t know if they have health issues or financial issues, or anything else. I see the surface. What seems perfect might not be. The best thing I can do is make my life as close to perfect as I can, meaning take the steps for a better body, work hard and make good financial decisions, and most importantly, have gratitude every day for what I have–health, healthy children, and so much love around me.
4. Don’t be afraid of being alone.
If you fear being alone, just stop. First off, you are wasting your time and energy. You might be alone for awhile, but what’s so wrong with that?? Nothing! Enjoy the peace. Let yourself heal. Mr. or Ms. Right is out there if you want him or her. You just have to be patient and work on yourself first. It’s not easy, I know. Just have faith, believe in yourself and take some small steps in an effort to meet people. The rest will fall into place. I believe that fate doesn’t let us find happy, healthy relationships until we are emotionally healthy ourselves. So, why now work on yourself so that you are prepared when he comes along?
5. Love your body.
You might be 10 pounds overweight, you might be 30 pounds overweight, your jeans might not fit, you might feel bloated, saggy, wrinkled. You might have varicose veins and stretch marks. Fact of life—age takes its toll. BUT, you are healthy, your body has the ability to work out, to run, to breathe, to feel good. So, love it and care for it. Feed it the right foods, take it to the gym. Get fillers or Botox if you want. Buy new clothes that are bigger sizes instead of trying to squeeze into old ones that might be out of style anyhow. Spend some money on yourself. You deserve it! And when you do it, have gratitude for it.
Did you know that it is impossible to engage in deep breathing and be stressed at the same time? So, when you feel stressed, start breathing deep (like the breaths they teach you in yoga) and I guarantee you will feel better. Do that several times a day!
7. Love your kids, parents and other family members as much as you can.
Hug them. Kiss them. Make them giggle and laugh and smile. Tell them they are beautiful—inside and out. Cherish every memory. Take pictures. Ask them questions and really listen to their responses. Dig deep. Tell them they can tell you anything and you will never, ever judge them. Tell your kids stories about when you were a kid. Ask your parents to tell stories to you and your kids. And you might not like this one, but tell stories about you and your ex and how you fell in love. Kids love that so much. It makes them feel loved and it gives them strength and confidence in themselves, like they are here because of strong love–even if it isn’t that way right now.
I know you are hurting and that you might be angry and resentful at your ex. But, if you stay bitter and angry, you are hurting yourself. Try to accept what happened and just give in to being at peace. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or pretending what he or she did is OK. It’s about moving on and not dwelling on it so that there is space in your head for embracing now and what’s in your future.
9. Focus on today: not tomorrow or yesterday.
Looking back is unproductive and only causes negative feelings like stress and regrets. Worrying about the future is unproductive because it can cause fear and stress. Living in the present is very very productive because it’s an anti-stressor. Being in the present is safe and real and can be very enjoyable. It’s filled with gratitude and calmness. This day and every new day is a gift. Treat it that way and just try to appreciate what is happening right now.
10. Open your heart.
Get to know people before you judge. Be open-minded. You don’t know the whole story. Don’t be afraid to let someone love you. You deserve it. Don’t be afraid to love someone again. He isn’t your ex. She isn’t your ex. They are their own person.
11. Stop fighting.
A divorce lawyer said this to my friend, “Do you want to be right and spend a ton of money? Or do you want to settle?” I agree! Think practically. Also, all that conflict and anger is just so negative and unhealthy emotionally. It’s a cancer that you don’t want in your life, so do you best to stay out of it. I know you have no control over your spouse’s behavior, but remember that you do have control over how you act and how you deal with your feelings.
12. Verbalize gratitude every single day.
I started doing this in 2016 and it works. Every morning when I wake up, almost as a form of meditation, I talk to God about what I am thankful for—my kids, my mom, my siblings, my boyfriend. I give thanks for our health and safety. I’m telling you, it works. It sets the tone for the day. Can you think of a better way to start a new day?
13. Engage in self-care.
Selfish and self care are two very different things. Selfish is when you have no regard for others and think only of yourself. Self-care means you love and take care of your kids and others, but you also yourself enough to take care of yourself. That might mean buying stuff you want for yourself and not feeling guilty, getting massages, making sure you go to the doctor, taking a break when you need it by going for a long walk or doing a yoga class, sleeping more, taking vitamins, going to therapy if you think you need it and much more. Buy what you really want. Eat what you want (sometimes). Go to a place you’ve always wanted to go. And, don’t’ feel guilty for doing for yourself.
14. Carve yourself a piece of enjoyment every single day.
Life is like a pie, and each piece represents something. Once piece might be work, one might be kids, one might be working out, another might be housework, then there’s volunteer work, taking care of aging parents, community events, grocery shopping, etc. You get the point. Make sure to carve yourself a slice of enjoyment/fun/me time every single day. ANYTHING you can do to laugh or feel good for some of the day is very important. You deserve that!
15. Talk to God.
He is listening. You don’t have to be in church or synagogue. He is everywhere. Express gratitude and ask for stuff! Again, he is listening. Talking to God can feel calming and can give you a sense of control–like at least you are praying (doing something) in an effort to the way you want things to be. I’m not saying God will make your problems go away, but He will give you the strength to act in ways to make your problems better and eventually go away.
Philanthropy, both financial and your time, as well as random acts of kindness are good for the world and good for others. You are truly making a contribution. But do you know who else giving helps? YOU. Giving so so so good for your sole and wellbeing. Giving makes you feel like you can fly, it fosters self-love, it empowers you, it gives you purpose, and believe me, your giving karma will come back double to you!
17. Hang around good people.
Surround yourself with people who are healthy for you. What I mean by that is, hang around people who make you feel good about yourself, people who you like yourself when you are with, and people who when you get home, you think “I had such a great time.” Get rid of the toxic people, the people you come home and say, “Why do I hang around her?!” Dump the people who are bad for your self-esteem, who judge and criticize you, who stop talking to you for no reason. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect from friends.
18. Try to look at change as a positive.
It’s natural to fear change, and to look at change as stressful. Going through a divorce is a catalyst for lots of changes. Instead of dreading them, try to look at the positive. The change could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you!
19. You are worthy of romantic love.
Make this year the year you decide you are worthy of true love. Don’t settle for men who don’t treat you well, who cheat on you, who are abusive, who you know in your heart aren’t for you. Finding the love of your life is about loving yourself enough to realize you deserve it, and seeking out healthy relationships. It’s about waiting and being alone for awhile, and knowing that it’s better to be alone than to be with the wrong person. It’s about getting the help you need to be emotionally healthy so that you are your best self in a relationship. You deserve be be blissfully happy in your next relationship!
Did you know that smiling more is proven medically to make you a healthier person? A person can smile at anytime. How? By just thinking about something good, someone you love, a pet, an event in the past, a beach you went to that you loved, anything that makes you feel good. During your busy work day or if you are stressed, take 60 seconds to think about a happy place or time or person.
21. Make amends with people.
This past year, I picked up the phone out of the blue and called someone I hadn’t talked to in a year and a half because we had a falling out. He was so happy to hear from me and apologized after I did. That decision had me feeling good for weeks (I still feel great.) There is no reason to be at odds with anyone. Even if you don’t want to be friends anymore, try to get to a place of civility and peace. Making amends makes good things come to. you.
22. If you want something, go after it.
Picture what you want your life to look like and then go get it! I’m not saying it will happen overnight, but if you write down what you eventually want, and you keep it realistic (in other words, if you want a 3 million dollar winter home in Florida for this winter and you make $50,000 a year, that’s probably not happening). But what might happen is that you can rent a small place for a couple months during the winter. The beach is the beach no matter where you are living. That’s just one example.
I have always believed that the hardest thing is figuring out what you want, not necessarily getting it. Getting what you want takes time and hard work and patience, but I know I work best when I set goals for myself. Another example, if you want to take your relationship to the next level, talk to your boyfriend and tell him that. Don’t be pushy or give him an ultimatum, but tell him in a nice way. If he breaks up with you, then that’s OK because now you know. But, it might go your way. Last example, if you want and think you deserve a promotion at work, ask for it. Ask for more money (in a nice way and tell your manager why you think you deserve it.)
No one ever got what they wanted without asking or going for it. It might be scary, but if you believe in yourself, you can do so much more than you even realize.
23. Love yourself, Beautiful!
You’re amazing! Very strong and courageous and loving. Women are so hard on ourselves. We tend to focus on the negatives, what we don’t have, what we “can’t” do. Listen, no one is perfect. But do the best you can with what you have and push yourself to your potential. You have inner and outer beauty. Do you see it? If not, you need glasses!
Happy New Year, Beautiful! All the best in the new year!!
Like this post? Check out my article, “20 Things I Wish I Could Have told my Newly Separated Self.”