Most people don't get married with the intention of getting divorced. This we know already.
When all the paperwork is final and everything has been said that could be said, it's time to start the process of moving on.
So how does one move on?
The answer is slowly, through a series of small steps that require courage, patience, and a little bit of fun.
Yes, fun. Something that provides amusement or playfulness.
This needs to happen even if you have to force yourself to engage in fun activities. Have you ever heard the expression, "Fake it until you make it"?
It might take years after a divorce to actually feel comfortable enough to enter into another serious relationship.
In the meantime, here are five things to do for yourself. Some of them may seem silly or simple but that's the point. There's no better time than right now to engage in something delightfully trivial.
1. Buy New Underwear
I don't know what it is, but there's something about starting over that requires new underwear. Call it a fresh start, from the bottom up. Maybe you can upgrade to lace, or better yet, try out a pair of thong panties if you haven't before. Thongs are certainly a fitting accessory to newfound freedom.
You don't have to buy a whole drawer full of undies. Maybe just one really nice set if you can afford it, in case you happen to go on a date or just want to feel sexy for yourself.
Try out a different style that you thought you never would before. You're divorcing, not dying, so act like you're still alive and spice up your underwear even if it's only for yourself in the mirror. And no excuses about being too overweight or not looking good in underwear. This is a new beginning. Make it happen.
2. Move Your Body!
Nothing shakes off bad memories or stress like exercise. Whether you start walking, running, or dancing, you need to start moving your body. Eventually your mind will catch up. If you work or have children and feel you have no time, please try to make room for this in your schedule.
Exercise is a key factor in balancing your mental health. It's kind of proven scientifically that exercise makes you feel better. So do it.
If possible, join a class. There are many these days. There's Zumba, yoga, Pilates, spinning, and even pole dancing (apparently it's all the rage). Go ahead. Feel awkward and get out of your comfort zone. You may even meet other women like you going through similar circumstances.
At least if you're not going to join a class, get outside for a walk and try working up to running. Take it from me - it's well worth it.
3. Go to a Beach
Yes, a beach. Find one. If there isn't one nearby, consider taking a road trip. There is nothing like digging your bare toes in the sand, smelling salty sea air, and the sound of waves splashing onto the shore.
Salt water is naturally healing and I believe that going anywhere near the ocean has an affect on the mind and body which promotes clarity. Get away from your phone, computer, and all the voices in your head. Just sit by the ocean, taking in the smells and vibrations.
Even if it's not summertime, you can still enjoy a walk or sit-down at a beach. Take a journal because you might get inspired. There's never been a better time to just let your thoughts tumble out. A divorce is the end of something you had hope for. You have to find new hope in something else now, and nothing helps the mind move on like a change of scenery and the magic of nature.
4. Start Planning
If you've always dreamed about traveling or starting a new project, now is the time to start planning that. Even if you can't actually do the things you've always dreamed of doing right now, start the planning process. Write things down. Daydream. Google vacation prices. Look up 3 day cruises. Plan something that you have to look forward to.
So often, when we're all caught up in the daily struggle of surviving, raising children or making ends meet, we just cast aside anything extra that would actually make us happier.
But there's something about the ritual of planning a trip or a passion project that settles the mind and gives us a light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that somewhere down the road you're going to bring your goal to fruition adds purpose and motivation.
Keeping the brain busy with plans and organizing is a fantastic distraction from wallowing in the aftermath of a relationship officially ending.
5. Laugh and Scream
Rollercoaster anyone? It's time to expel negativity and the most efficient and enjoyable way to do that is through laughter and adrenaline. Get out to an amusement park. Act like you're twelve again. Thrill any depression right out of your body.
Go to a comedy club or watch more comedy shows on television. For some of you out there, it may feel like you'll never be able to laugh again. Maybe you didn't want to get divorced and your spouse did. Maybe you're going through a rough custody battle over children. That sucks. This is why you need more joy in your life.
I'll say it again. Sometimes you just need to fake it until you make it.
If you were totally ready for your divorce and couldn't wait to be free again, then it will be all the more convenient for you to actively feel contentment coursing through your veins again.
Every situation is unique but the bottom line is you need to take life and live it, not just barely make it through.
Divorce isn't great. But you can be.
More from Michelle - "5 Things Wives Should Know About Mistresses" - http://hubpages.com/relationships/5-Things-Wives-Should-Know-About-Mistresses
Originally a Vancouver Island native, Michelle now resides in California.
Michelle's blogs discuss a wide variety of topics including domestic abuse, adultery, relationships, marriage, parenting, step-parenting, beauty, health, and more.
Catch more unique reads at The Pondering Nook website and Facebook page