Your world is destroyed and your self-esteem is broken. Divorce destroys so much within us, but there is a way through it all.
Before I got divorced, I was always a confident person who loved walking alone. Somehow this became impossible after my marriage ended. I was no longer a happily married woman who was confident and relaxed in every situation. I had no idea who I was anymore. How can you be confident when you don’t know who you are and when your whole world is shaken?
Our lack of self-confidence can even cause other things to go wrong in our life, including depression and anxiety. So how can you regain confidence after a divorce if nothing feels right?
How to regain confidence after a divorce
We often use the words “self-confidence” and “self-esteem” interchangeably, but there is a difference. Confidence is belief in our abilities, while self-esteem is our general self-esteem. It relates to who you are and what values you stand for. Obviously the two are related. Working on building your confidence is a great first step in improving your self-esteem.
When our self-confidence is low, negative emotions are usually buzzing around us. This is especially true if you are in the process of divorce. It’s hard to know where to start. But sometimes, especially at the beginning, the only thing you can do is sit with those emotions and gradually accept them. You will go through all stages of grief in your very own way. The worst thing you can do is try to speed up the process or ignore it altogether.
Here are a few tips on how to regain confidence after divorce.
1. Walking or exercising
Even if you don’t feel like it, try going for a walk. If you are an avid runner or gym goer then go and do a session. However, when you’ve lost all energy, a gentle walk can do wonders for your mind. It’s a great way to get your muscles moving and rejuvenating your mind with more blood flow and oxygen. Another good tip is not to look up when walking. Looking up has the added factor of taking a break from your negative thoughts. Give it a try and see what happens. Simply lifting your head usually involves opening your chest so you can breathe deeper.
Let’s not forget the main benefit of doing even a small amount of exercise. It’s about creating happy chemicals in our brain. Endorphins are chemicals that are released into our brains during exercise and that make us feel good. If movement doesn’t sound appealing, how about leaving everything out to loud, crazy music? That can help boost both your dopamine and serotonin levels, more happy chemicals that regulate mood and other functions, including sleep.
2. Write a list of your strengths and read them every morning
Another great way to regain confidence after a divorce is to remember that you have strengths. It may sound strange to read this in the midst of desperation, but you have something to offer the world. Unfortunately, the divorce process often means we forget our strengths. Part of regaining your confidence is reconnecting with them.
Try this strengths worksheet. You simply highlight three strengths you have and then figure out how to use them this week. The other option is to list ten Things you do well Whichever list you prefer, you can keep it by your bed and read it every morning. This will help block out your negative thoughts, if only for a brief moment. In addition, waking up daily with positive thoughts will gradually change the way you think. Believe it or not, these negative emotions and thoughts get darker and more manageable over time.
3. Set yourself small goals
Divorce is not a failure. It’s a change.
Anyone who has been through a divorce knows how much we blame ourselves. I can’t remember how many times I kept thinking in my head about what I could have done differently. I even had well-meaning family members who told me I could fix this. There was nothing to fix, however.
Divorce is not a failure. It’s one of those things that happen in life for a variety of reasons, and as with any change, we learn to adapt and move on. We never forget the feeling of loss, but we find a way to live with it. Divorce changed my life for the better, even though it took me years to see it.
Go back to your strengths list and come up with small goals that you can do for yourself to help fulfill your dreams and regain confidence. Even if you have to dig deep, there is bound to be something you have been putting aside for a while that you want to do, whether it’s a new hobby or just a book you’ve never read. Preparing a proper meal yourself at least once a week can be a great goal. Again, keep it small, but make sure it is important to you and no one else.
I’m not going to suggest that building confidence again after a divorce will be easy, but you can. You will have to figure out your new identity as single again after you have built up your self-confidence a little. From there, you have the strength to rebuild your self-esteem. In the meantime, you can see the light again by doing some exercise and reconnecting with your strengths. At the end of the day, it’s about doing things for yourself.
So be selfish and take the time to grieve and face each day as it comes. You will soon feel better with your self-confidence regained.
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