Awesome Activities For New Divorcees
Even before the papers are finalized, all the Ts crossed and signatures penned, you can get started on the right track to healing and enjoying a new you. It’s the start of a new way of living, or at least getting back to the life you knew before you tied the knot.
Here are some healing, helpful, and happy activities that can revitalize you as you chart a new course following your divorce. Get to know yourself all over again!
Make Your Decor Yours
Whether you redecorate in ways large or small, make changes to your living space that your ex-husband or wife would have given a thumbs-down to…especially the places you two frequented the most. Or you can just forget about them altogether and decorate your home in a way that is 100% you!
Even if that means using mismatched furniture, low-budget items or colors that clash, go for it. As long as it represents you, your freedom, and where you want to go in life, it’ll be perfect.
Drink in the Strength of Friendships
Meet up with your divorced or separated friends as much as possible. Only people who have gone through (or are currently going through) a failed marriage will understand what you’ve been experiencing. It will give you an opportunity to laugh, linger over cocktails, maybe even cry or shout, and let your hair down.
Camaraderie can be a great healer after you’ve gone through a major life event like divorce. In fact, it is one of the top recommended activities for the recently divorced.
Take a Vacation Alone
There’s nothing like traveling alone to allow you to remember how tough, capable, and independent you are, especially in a place where you don’t speak the language. So, visit a foreign country. Relax at an oceanfront destination. Take a cruise. Swim in a lagoon, take a tour at a safari, or dance the night away at a nightclub.
Going it alone allows you to experience new places and new things on your own without having to take into consideration others’ needs or expectations. Down time has a way of lifting you up.
The physical and psychological benefits of yoga are well documented, so this might be the ideal time to try a class and give yourself a boost. It’ll help with your flexibility, and you’ll learn how to channel negative energy out of your body. Working out is said to release endorphins, so at the very least, you’ll feel good after each session.
You’ll also be in a position to meet new people and perhaps start up a new friendship or two, and there’s no downside to that. You may even find love in yoga, whether it’s with yourself or someone else.
Buy a Beautiful Bouquet
The notion about a man or woman needing someone to buy them flowers is so old-school. Sure, it’s nice to be thought of, but you’re the one who knows what you like best. Whatever the season, a bunch of flowers has a way of brightening your day. Place them in a room where you’ll see them often.
That way, you’ll be reminded throughout the day that doing nice things for yourself is, well, nice. And that you don’t need to wait for someone else to add a little light to your life.
Put a New Spin on Getting in Shape
A spin class? Maybe. Running? Possibly. Swimming? Whatever floats your boat. Joining a gym or starting a new exercise regimen is a great way to feel like you’re taking control of your body as well as your life as a single person. It’s one of the more positive changes anyone, particularly new divorcees, can make as a newly single person.
You’ll literally shed the weight that has held you down during your marriage, as well as have some feel-good hormones coursing through your body. The best part: you’ll be doing it for yourself and not someone else.
Get Your Finances in Order
Where does your money come from primarily? How much do you have in savings and assets? What are your short- and long-term financial goals? Historically, divorces have been known to cause financial ruin for some parties. At the very least, you will need to take a look at your accounts once the divorce has been finalized.
Conduct a review of your finances and you’ll feel empowered to make better financial decisions, not only on a day-to-day basis but also in the future.
Slow Down and Meditate
Going through a divorce can be physically and mentally draining. As you move forward into the world of the no-longer-married, take time to recharge with daily meditation. Start out by doing only a few minutes a day if that’s all you have time for; even a small amount of meditation time can help put you on the path to a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
And if you’re not sure what it means to meditate, doing some research or driving down to your local yoga studio are both great options you can look into. You’ll be getting your zen on in no time.
Start the Day (or End It) on a Good Note With a Theme Song
Certain songs can make you feel empowered, optimistic, or encouraged, and maybe all three at the same time. Choose a song that can serve as the backdrop of your life and play it as often as you like, whether you’re heading to work, picking the kids up from school, or looking for a boost after a trying day.
It’s also important to stay away from the songs that make you sad or emotional. While it is healthy to cry and process your feelings, being happy and upbeat will help you stay motivated and avoid wallowing, so choose your song wisely.
Divorce is difficult. Period. You’ve basically ended a relationship that, at one point or another, you thought would last forever. And it can be very difficult to process something like that. Meeting up with a therapist can help you through the process of deciding to divorce, going through a divorce, and building a life post-divorce. Choose a therapist who specializes in marital or divorce counseling.
But if you’re skeptical and don’t believe in therapy, find a long-time trusted friend to listen to you. One who won’t judge you and will have your back no matter what.
Make a Massage Part of “Me Time”
Tension can wreak havoc on your physical self, especially when a relationship has come to an end.. Make an appointment for a massage and let someone soothe the soreness and caress the kinks. Just an hour of uninterrupted “me time” can help you feel calmer and more empowered to face life on your own terms.
In fact, getting into the habit of doing things that make you feel good by releasing stress is a great practice to adopt. As long as you can afford it, why not do one every week?
It doesn’t matter if it’s in a pool in your backyard (if privacy allows!), a nude beach, or a deserted lake darkened by night. Diving in sans suit can make you feel as though you’ve been freed from expectations and demands placed on you by other people (as well as yourself).
And that’s exactly what everyone who has gone through a divorce needs. So even if you can’t do this often, try for every once in a while, just so you can remind yourself that you are no longer tied down.
Sleep In, Zone Out
If you live alone, choose a day every week when you skip setting the alarm and sleep uninterrupted well past the usual gotta-get-going hour. It’ll feel so good to be lazy for a little while and sleep in. If you have kids, choose a day when they’re spending some quality time sleeping at their other parent’s house or with grandparents.
If the other parent is unavailable, ask a friend, your parents, or some other trusted relative to keep an eye on them. You’ll be so happy that you spent those extra hours under the sheets.
Sleep in Your Bed Diagonally
Because you can. ‘Nough said. But more seriously, sleeping in your bed diagonally is a sign that you have your space back. No longer do you have to hang on the corner trying not to fall off, have a heavy leg thrown over yours, or smell some stinky breath first thing in the morning.
The bed is 100% yours. You can roll around and downright dance to the Nutcracker in it if you’d like. The best part? No one will be exposing your toes by hogging most of the comforter anymore.
Saying yes can help you move forward: yes to dating, yes to a new job, yes to a new place to live, yes to traveling, and most importantly, yes to yourself. Change doesn’t always come easy, but it can bring a new perspective and a renewed sense of joy to your life.
So try some new things, even if they make you uncomfortable. Start saying yes more. You don’t want to live the rest of your life wishing you did something.
While it’s important to know the value of “yes,” you should also say no to anything that doesn’t make you happy or fulfilled. If you felt you couldn’t set limits in your married life, now’s the time to think about establishing boundaries that could make your life easier or more enjoyable.
The trick is to not only set limitations but also to do so without feeling guilty about it. Once you’ve mastered that, we guarantee you’ll be so much happier and more carefree.
Have a One Night Stand, If You Want
Let’s get one thing straight right away: one night stands aren’t for everyone. Just use your best judgment. If you think it will be a liberating experience, an exciting adventure, or if you feel like you just need a good romp, then go for it (make sure, however, that you’re not in an unsafe situation).
Just make sure the rules that you both want to follow are clarified upfront. Be safe, have fun, and don’t catch any feelings.
Get Your Cards Read
No matter whether or not you believe in these things, it’ll still be fun to get a look at what your future could possibly be. Either go for a reading alone or bring along a couple of friends; either way, make it a fun and enjoyable experience that doesn’t necessarily come with any gravity.
You might just get some insight into your life from someone who doesn’t know you all that well and who isn’t a marriage counselor or therapist.
Watch a Movie Alone
Choose a favorite movie from years ago and watch it at home or pick a present-day flick that you’ve been wanting to see at the local cinema for weeks. Go it alone and you don’t have to coordinate with others’ schedules; you can just settle in, grab a handful of hot buttered popcorn, and lose yourself in movie magic.
It’s important to start doing certain activities that you used to do with your ex-spouse all alone, just so you see that you don’t need anyone to enjoy a movie. When you realize that you can be happy alone, you’ll truly realize that you hold the key to your joy.
Flirt With a Stranger
There are certain steps that all new divorcees must take as soon as they become single or soon after the healing has begun. It’s sort of like an unofficial checklist that empowers you and lets you know that you’ve still got it. And one of the things on that checklist is getting your flirt on with a complete stranger.
Do you even remember how to flirt? Find out by trying it with a stranger that seems interesting to you (make sure that you’re in a safe place where there are other people around because a stranger is, well, a stranger). He or she just might flirt back, and fun could ensue.
Binge Watch a Show Instead of Binge Eating
It’s sad to say, but the loss of an important relationship can open the door to some unhealthy and harmful habits. One of those habits is binge eating. And we don’t want that for you. So, instead of picking up the ice cream, get into some subscription services that’ll allow you to watch your favorite shows back to back.
Comedy. Drama. Documentary. Binge-watch whatever and whenever you like; there’s nothing and no one stopping you. A certain feeling of freedom comes with holding on to the remote and knowing that no one will try to overrule your passion for Game of Thrones.
Go to a Museum Alone
Another fun activity that you indulge in is going to a museum solo. Stroll through a museum and take all the time you want to admire paintings, explore an exhibit, or wander among relics. It will feel wonderfully indulgent to not have kids (or a husband or wife) tugging at your sleeve saying, “Can we go home now?”
And if you’re thinking that you’re in for a boring night, we never said you had to go to a stuffy museum. Depending on where you live, there’s sure to be a museum of sex or ice cream somewhere.
Spend a Day in Bed Crying
The painstaking process of divorce takes a toll on your physical and mental state. Acknowledge the difficulty and dashed dreams instead of pretending; spend a day in bed crying it out, then get up the next day, put your feet on the floor, and step forward into a new life that still holds a lot of promise.
And even if you end up back in bed for another day, that’s okay. No one puts a timer on the healing process of a divorce, especially if yours is particularly bad. The most important thing is to always get back up.
Get Together With an Inspiring Divorced Couple
Not all divorces end badly; they just end a marriage. Seek out a divorced couple that lives life positively, still manages to get together on holidays, raises the kids cooperatively, and focuses on happy memories instead of their downer divorce. The great thing is that you may already know a couple like this, and if you don’t, one of your friends can help you out.
Even if yours doesn’t end harmoniously, it can still be inspiring to be around a divorced couple who succeeded. You can also pick up a few tips from them to try to apply to your life.
Date Outside Your Type
Going for the usual didn’t work out so well last time; maybe it’s time for something new. Be open to spending time with someone who possesses different traits than what you’re used to and who might be able to open your eyes to new experiences. It doesn’t matter if it’s their looks, what they do for a living, or their personality.
You’re not committing to anything or anyone at this point, so why not put a toe in the water and see if you want to jump in? Besides, you never know what will happen.
Help Heal a Heart
Pay it forward! If a friend or family member helped you through your divorce and they find themselves going through their own marital difficulties, lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. It’s a nice way to show gratitude and to apply what you’ve learned about how to make it through hard times.
Not only will it feel great to help someone else out, but you’ll be doing some good along the way. Plus it’s never a bad thing to rack up some good karma.
Become Your Own Handyman
Guys, sit back and let the ladies gain some of their independence back with this task. Maybe you’re not as all-thumbs as you think; learn how to complete small handyman-type jobs like unclogging pipes under a sink, stopping the toilet from constantly running, or patching a wall that has one too many dings from furniture moves.
And if you’re not ready for that yet, you can start small by changing your lightbulbs, repairing tiny cracks outside your house, and even changing the paint color in a certain room.
Chill Out and Eat Ice Cream for Dinner
Something about eating dessert (and only dessert) at mealtime brings out the kid in us and makes us forget about some of life’s adult tribulations. The end of a marriage can be the start of finding your inner child again and enjoying simple things that once brought a sense of childlike freedom.
Just make sure that this doesn’t become a regular habit or something turns into binge-eating. The last thing you need is to let this trying time affect your health.
Wear High Heels Again
Sorry guys, this one is purely for the ladies, unless heels are your thing too, of course. There are times when sexy takes second place in a marriage. As a couple, you go to the same places, do the same things, and you can find yourself in a pretty deep rut.
Now’s the time to break out the six-inch heels that used to make you feel pretty and powerful; you’ll climb your way out of that rut in no time flat. And walking in heels is great practice for when you’re ready to date again.
Start a Journal
Writing about a situation or experience can sometimes help to bring clarity. Don’t just record the details of the disappointments and heartaches; give equal time (and space on the page) to writing about how you’ve grown, what you’ve learned, and your hopes for the future.
In time, you’ll see that writing down your feelings can be just as therapeutic as talking to someone who won’t judge you. And you can always reread what you’ve written to see how far you’ve come.
Buy an ‘I’m Divorced’ Ring
You look down at your hand and there it is: the bare finger, no wedding band in sight. It’s a loss that you not only see but also feel deep inside. Why not buy yourself a beautiful ring that reflects your individual taste and style, and that also serves as a symbol of your faith in your own innate ability to move forward?
And men, don’t be afraid to get in on this either. Just make sure you put it on the right finger so that it doesn’t send the wrong message.
Pack a Bag for Paris
Paris may be known as the City of Love, but it’s also known for its lights. The City of Lights can illuminate many things: the fact that you feel comfortable (joyous, even) traveling alone, that you’re still curious about the world, and that your divorce hasn’t separated you from the fun-loving and curious wanderer you used to be.
And if Paris isn’t in the budget right now, you can opt for somewhere closer or cheaper, like Mexico or Miami. As long as you go alone and regain your independence, it’ll be okay. Bon voyage!
Smile About the Good Times in Your Marriage
Yes, a divorce may sometimes seem like pure hell, but don’t let it make you forget the days as a couple that seemed like heaven on earth. Remember even the smallest moments in happier days and you just might find yourself feeling lifted up rather than totally let down.
But don’t let that make you fight for a situation you know isn’t healthy. It’s fine to smile about the past if you don’t let it suck you back in.
Watch the Movie Heartburn
Heartburn is simply the best divorce movie ever. But more than that, you should get into the habit of watching movies that are similar to your situation. You’ll be able to see yourself on a screen and find a character or two to fall in love with. Sure, they’re fictional, but they can let you see that things are going to be okay.
You can also get into some really good books. You can read everything from romance novels to self-help books. Really anything that helps you heal.
Consult With a ‘Divorce Advisory Board’
Bring together a group of family members or friends who can offer not only a shoulder to lean on but also pearls of wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement. With several board members to consult, you don’t have to call on the same bestie all the time to help you through the rough patches.
Plus, you’ll get different opinions on the same issue, which will allow you to get a full 360 perspective. You’ll build bonds with these people along the way, forming your very own tribe.
Wear Something Sexy
You don’t even have to leave the house with your sexy outfit on if you’re not ready; just wearing it is enough to remind yourself that you have choices, that you still feel good about yourself, and that you don’t have to tone down how you look to please someone else.
In fact, getting into the habit of dressing up for yourself will help with your confidence. As long as you’re happy and you know you look good, you will never need anyone else’s opinion to make you feel like you’re worth it.
Take a Dance Class
Sure, it takes two to tango, but there are dance classes aplenty that are a perfect fit for anyone going solo. In fact, this is a great way to meet new people, since you’re not likely to be the only solo person there. You may also not be the only one who has just gone through a divorce.
Think about what type of dance you like — ballet, swing, or ballroom to name a few — and find a nearby class that fits your schedule. Working out, learning some new moves, and meeting new people? What’s not to love?
Go Grocery Shopping for One
Ordering food is easy and convenient, but if it’s overdone, it can eat away at your connection to the outside world. Put aside your worn-out, two-sizes-too-big comfy pants, slip into a casual classic, and head to the grocery store on your own. And you don’t have to get all fancy to do it either.
You might not be buying for two anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t savor your new independence when it comes to choosing fresh over frozen.
Go to a Bar Alone (a Safe One, of Course!)
Sip a glass of wine. Enjoy a cool cocktail. Try a new microbrew. Or indulge in the smooth flavors of a whiskey. Going to a bar alone isn’t a sign of loneliness or desperation, as the media has led us to believe; it’s a mark of mature independence and a willingness to be open to new experiences.
Besides, what’s the point of staying home moping around the house like a ghost of your former self? Put on something cute, grab some cash, and march that butt of yours to a really nice bar.
Write a Will
If there’s anything your divorce has taught you, it’s that many things in life aren’t permanent, even when you want them to be. Putting into writing who gets what and when after you’ve passed can be liberating; you’ll feel like you’re taking charge of your legacy rather than leaving it to chance.
And if you already have one, maybe it’s time to update it, since your circumstances have now changed. The best part is that you have no one else you need to consult this time around.
Adopt a Pet
Adopting an animal can show you that you still have the capacity to live, especially at a time where you think you do not. No, they can’t replace a spouse, but companion animals can help heal a hole in your heart. And there are many different ways to do that: by buying a puppy or kitten or by adopting.
Animals at shelters are dealing with a separation of their own: from their homes, their pet parents, their familiar toys and beds. They can give comfort and receive comfort all at the same time.
Embrace the Act of Forgiving
What most people don’t understand about forgiveness is that not doing it is a burden on the person who has been wronged. Whatever was done to you will always make you feel down when you haven’t let it go. And that’s some negativity that you do not need in your life.
Forgiving a person for wronging you allows you to let go of it all. Forgiving is for giving yourself permission to be happy. So do it for you, not anyone else.