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After your divorce, you are probably finding yourself with a lot more free time on your hands, and nothing to fill it with. Hours spent with your spouse doing things, going places, and socializing with common friends are now yours to do what you want with them. Periods where you used to take care of conjugal affairs and obligations is now all yours.
The issue is that you used to spend part of your day just being with your ex, and another part of the day doing things together, going out, and so on. Perhaps weekends you also did fun stuff, aside from what each of you did on their own. When you get divorced, those things will not happen anymore. You may find yourself sometimes at a loss with what to do with so much free time. After the divorce, there will be in your schedule gaping holes that you may use as downtime, or to mope around. The latter is not good at all, you don’t want those time Marianna Trenches to suck you down.
The worst thing you can do is aimlessly floating around without finding anything to do. Not spending these hours doing something that makes you feel happy and productive will just make you feel lonely and unable to spend quality time by yourself, without your ex. By not finding new hobbies for yourself, or taking back those whom seemed to be lost over the course of your relationship, you’re setting yourself up for failure in regards to moving forward as fast as you can. You need to be spending this time doing anything: hanging out friends, picking up new stuff, being productive, expanding your horizons, and so on.
This is the perfect time to find yourself again: find new ways to pass time, places to visit, hobbies to entertain yourself with. Connect with who you were when you were single, and see if you still enjoy the same things; if not, the internet is so vast and plentiful that you can always find new stuff to fill that free time with. The internet is both a horrific and wonderful place, so pack up your free time as your gear, and start exploring!
Finding yourself again is crucial right now: the faster you can get to being independent in mind, spirit, and action from your former marriage, the better! Take this as your healing time, healing by doing, healing by learning, healing by building yourself up doing things you enjoy. Healing, unfortunately, can’t be done eating Ben and Jerry’s from your couch and watching chick flicks, although that ice cream is undeniably delicious and irresistible.
All you need is something to keep yourself busy with, that will allow you to spend time with yourself and heal at your own pace; something that will not let you mope around the house and think about how much fun you had with your ex, and how fuller life was with them.
What you need to avoid the most is to think of yourself as someone empty without your ex. You need to find the road to being ok with being single again, and being on your own. If you are not comfortable with hanging around by yourself or just with your friends, without a romantic element, you will forever define yourself by a relationship, and will not get over this divorce. It’s best that you build yourself up again, taking up pastimes, work and activities that make you happy to live life by yourself to the fullest.
How can you do this? Just by finding out what you like and expanding your horizons on that!
The easiest way to ease yourself into new hobbies is by picking up where you left off with old ones, and dedicating yourself to them. For example, if you painted during your relationship, why not continue? Why not take a new medium, perhaps buy some art books, study new forms of drawing, and take a class… something that will better you at that particular pastime, thus giving you a feeling of self-completeness. To continue this example, painting might lead you to figure drawing, and figure drawing to sculpture, and so on and forth. In no time, you could find yourself knees dip in untested, interesting waters that could make you feel a much better, more productive, happier person. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
If you want to be really daring, you could just pick up something totally new to you. It would be like an adventure you go on just by yourself, and it will be empowering.
Learning a new skill doesn’t take much time, and now, with all of this free time from the divorce, you have the ability and freedom to practice! The internet, as I said earlier, will be your best friend the following months, as well as the library (of course, aside from your friends and family). Explore the groups on meetup.com or look into groupon.com in your area. Both of these have groups or activities that you can join in on an added bonus is you will meet new people that don’t know you as part of a couple. Information is everywhere these days, so it will be very easy for you to keep busy and find and learn new things. Perhaps you always wanted to crochet, but never had the time, or you had things to do with your ex. Well, now is the perfect time to do it and see if you like it!
The point of what I am saying is: the time that was occupied with your ex is now vacant. Fill it with something meaningful and non-romantic to keep you standing tall and help you move forward. Nothing is better than keeping yourself busy, because moping around doesn’t solve anything. Help yourself by learning, it’s the best thing you can do: expand your horizons, while healing at the same time.
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