It can take a while to get your head readjusted to single living again especially if you’ve been married for a long length of time. Being married you probably had plans for how the future was going to turn out but these are now by the way side. So let’s take a look at areas where you may have to rethink your future plans… Meeting New People
Join organized single activities
An easy way to dip your toe back in social activities is through singles group events. Most churches, gyms, women’s groups offer group events like tours, weekend breaks and group meetings to help recently separated couples to get back into a social setting in an easy way. To find out more information about events in your area, try your favourite search engine for ideas or pay attention to noticeboards in church, schools and local shops for activities you might like to join.
Go out in groups
Along with organized activities why not start going out again in a group setting. Now is the time go to those events that you’ve been putting off because of married life, like going out with a group of friends to the cinema, bowling or theatre? It’s an easy way to meet new people without feeling the pressure of going out on a “date.”
Enjoy modern dating
If you’ve been married long you’ve probably never come across the phenomenon of speed dating or dating websites. While these have been useful to some people for finding love, you will need to keep your wits about you. Giving away private information, home addresses and other personal information can get you into trouble if you don’t know the other person well enough. If you’re not sure how to approach these dating techniques its best to get advice off someone you know and trust about how to go about using them safely.
Kids and dating
Most expert recommend keeping any new dates separate from your home and away from meeting your children. Children can be very vulnerable after a divorce and can latch on quickly to any new adult coming into their lives. In worse cases they may even think that this is going to be their new Mum or Dad and be devastated if things don’t work out. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce them to your children but only at a later date when you feel the time is right. Money and Finances
Re-budget for your independence
With your income now reduced after a divorce its worthwhile sitting down and start taking note of your financial situation. Although holidays, cable television, gym memberships and other things may have been part and parcel of your married life, these less important financial out goings will need to be looked at again. It things don’t add up on paper it’s time to consider looking for another job or some ways to bring your smaller budget under control.
Check your government aid entitlement
Although child support can help provide the income you need for food, shelter etc, it may still leave you coming up short. Contact your local government agencies to see if you’re entitled to any can help with topping up your income.
Alimony – are you getting any?
If you’re receiving alimony off a spouse this should be added to any income coming into the home. But note this is only paid over a period of time and will eventually end, so it’s important not to sign up for any long term payment plans expecting alimony to cover the expense.
Pay attention to child support
When you’re on a limited budget it’s important to keep an eye on all income as missing out on a payment could be what you need to pay your mortgage, water etc. It can be easy to take child support payments for granted and assume they’ll always be there. But remember to keep an eye on them regularly so you don’t fall foul to any nasty surprises.
Review your medical insurance
If you’ve previously been covered by your spouse’s insurance this probably wasn’t a major concern for you, but now this is something that will need looking at. You may still be covered (this is something that you’ll need to investigate, you may be able to avail of COBRA which is part of your spouse’s insurance) but if not then this is something you’ll need to budget for. Nobody knows the future and you have to consider how a medical emergency would affect yours.
Don’t neglect your own health
Emotional and physical needs should not be taken lightly. More than ever, you need to look after yourself.
Divorce can take a great strain on your emotionally and physically and you may feel totally burnt out after going through whole process. Although you may be tempted to put kids and others first the best place to start with is you. Only when you’re feeling on top of things, will you be better fit to give of yourself to others. Take some money and treat yourself, you don’t have to splash out on something extravagant just something that will help lift your mood and you feel better.
Although you may feel like hiding away from the world, force yourself to go out. Going for brisk walk or run is a great way to improve your mood, release endorphins and reduce stress levels. It’s easy to raid the larder and find solace in food but it won’t do your physical wellbeing any good and any weight gain will only depress you even more.
Improve your eating habits
Like previously stated weight won’t help but also unhealthy food won’t help to lift your mood. Foods packed with sugar and preservatives don’t go very far in building a healthy body and feeding brain cells. Eating healthy will also give you more energy for running around after kids.
Mental health is just as important for your wellbeing as physical. Take time out during your walk to pay attention to what’s around you. Look up to the sky and listen to the birds. There are many ways you can improve and support your mental health. Mindfullness apps are aplenty on the app stores, but nothing beats a conversation be it with friends or a professional counsellor.
It takes times getting your footing after a divorce. In a marriage it’s easy to take for granted the decisions and circumstances that come about from both of you working together. But now you’re on your own its time to start taking care of yourself emotionally, financially and physically. By following the tips above you’ll be well on the way to getting back on your feet.