By using these three keys one after the other, you’ll find happiness again.
The pain of divorce is unrelenting. And understandably so because your world has crumbled to dust.
The one person who promised they’d love you forever is gone and replaced by a stranger who only looks like your ex. The home you shared together is either horribly empty or gone. And seeing your children wake up every morning and putting them to bed every night is also gone.
Every single one of the losses – both big and small – pulls at your soul so hard that it’s difficult to think, breathe or, at times, simply exist.
Yet as painful as healing after divorce is, happiness is still available to you. You probably won’t feel joyous – at least not at first, but you can experience happiness even in the midst of the agony.
All it takes is making small changes in a particular order and soon you’ll stop the pain for brief moments. And the more you put these changes into practice, the more happiness you’ll feel.
There are three keys to how to be happy as you’re healing after divorce.
The first key is all about laying the groundwork for greater happiness by decreasing the toll your divorce is taking on you.
Divorce upsets your life dramatically. You need to change nearly all of your old routines. And you have to create new ones to cover all of your new (or at least altered) responsibilities.
This shift of routines is important. Before all of this happened, your routines provided structure which allowed you to do many different things more or less on autopilot instead of needing to think about each and every thing.
Now, you’re having to create new routines for just about everything in your personal life. Not only is this exhausting, but it’s incredibly easy to forget stuff.
Unfortunately, one of the easiest things to forget or just postpone as you’re healing after divorce is taking care of yourself. And, yes, I am talking about the basics here of eating, sleeping, exercising and hydrating in addition to creating new nurturing habits.
Prioritizing yourself will give you more of the energy you need to move through the pain and create your new life after divorce. But beyond the practical benefits of taking care of yourself each and every day with nurturing habits, you’ll start catching glimpses of happiness amidst the pain of your healing after divorce.
To build on this foundation, you’ll need the second key to how to be happy as you’re healing after divorce.
I learned this second key several years ago, when I was healing after my own divorce, from a 92-year-old friend. Ruth was always full of abundant energy and an inspiring love of life despite dealing with severe hearing loss and other inconveniences of her age. Whenever I visited her, she always greeted me with a huge bear hug which consistently surprised me for its strength.
One day I asked her what her secret was for having such a great attitude and long life. She told me that every day she wakes up she starts wondering what wonderful thing is going to happen today.
In other words, she expected something great to happen not just once in a while, but every single day of her life. And she wasn’t always on the lookout for huge, amazing things. She was just on the lookout for everything that was wonderful.
Even in the midst of the agony of your divorce, there are still myriad opportunities for you to experience something wonderful every day: the feel of the sun on your face, the softness of your pet’s fur, the taste of your morning coffee.
The great thing about being on the lookout for bits of wonderful throughout your day is that as you appreciate each and every one of them, you’ll momentarily experience happiness. Yup, pure happiness in the middle of the misery.
Once you’ve mastered the first two keys to how to be happy as you’re healing after divorce, you’ll be able to tackle the third and final one.
Jana and Jorge each had really tough divorces that left them feeling pretty broken and wondering what could still be possible for them now that divorce had shattered their dreams.
As they each worked through the onslaught of pain and started to experience little bits of happiness by using the previous two keys, they started dreaming of what they wanted for their lives now.
Jana wanted a career that would allow her to support herself and her sons. Jorge wanted a family and knew he was destined to be a doting father.
Despite their pain, they each dreamed of what was next in their lives and started working toward it. They leaned on the first two keys any time the journey to their dreams got tough.
Despite all the hardships they experienced along the way, it didn’t take too long before they each achieved their dreams. And with the realization of their dreams came more happiness in their new lives than I think either of them could have imagined possible when we first met in one of my divorce support groups.
So those are the three keys to how to be happy as you’re healing after divorce. I’ve laid them out in this order because they build on each other.
You need to take care of you first, be gentle with yourself, and build your strength. Then you’ll have the energy and ability to start noticing things that are simply wonderful about being alive. Finally, you’ll have built the belief that your pain won’t last forever and you’ll be able to start dreaming about what you want your life to be like now.
And before you know it, you’ll be able to tell others that the pain of divorce does end and how you were able to experience happiness again as you healed from your divorce.
Need a little more support in finding happiness again? I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and personal life coach helping people just like you who are hurting and really want to move on from their divorce. You can join my anonymous newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you're ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.
Looking for more support and ideas for getting through your divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Healing After Divorce.