Updated on October 5, 2017
Embracing Change: How a Breakup or Divorce Can Help You Create Positive Habits
A Guest blog by Brandon Butler
Changing jobs, getting divorced, having a baby, and moving to a new city are all major life changes. Some are planned; others are not. While some are happy experiences, others aren’t.
Regardless of the circumstances, major life transitions shake up your routine. Routines and habits go hand and hand, so take advantage of the shake-up, and change your life for the better.
A breakup or divorce often means having to move to a new place. You’re going to be single again, but don’t look at it as a negative. Take this time to learn to value your own company and alone time. Make a habit of making time for yourself, whether it’s doing yoga, exercising, meditating, or participating in your favorite hobby.
Not only are these activities good for your health, but the simple act of being alone can spark creativity, boost productivity, increase relaxation, and clear your mind. A blend of alone time and social time can actually help fight depression, and doing activities alone can be just as fun as doing them with others.
After your divorce, you’ll likely need to make new living arrangements. This is an intimidating situation, but you can make it more pleasant and use it as an opportunity to change your habits. When planning a move, choosing a location and a home size are the most important decisions and the best starting points.
Downsizing is common, and for many divorcees, it’s the perfect opportunity to go through your belongings and let go. Not only can you move forward from the relationship, but you can also work on becoming less cluttered, which can improve your overall energy and mood and make you feel more focused, optimistic, confident, and motivated.
Purging items that remind you of your ex may be liberating, but don’t be too hasty; items you detest when the divorce is fresh can serve as nostalgic memories later. When in doubt, place an item in storage instead of tossing it.
Moving requires planning, start by determining where you’ll move. The longer the move, the sooner you should start planning and the more help you’ll need. Arranging how to handle the move so it’s not as taxing as other decisions is important and fairly straightforward. Plan the logistics of packing, unpacking, transporting items, and arranging furniture.
A quick and simple move is important for your sanity and your children’s welfare, so consider hiring moving professionals to achieve this and to allow you to focus on supporting your children instead of focusing on moving logistics.
If you’ve been guilty of not focusing enough time on your children or not communicating well with them, change that now by keeping the doors of communication open—something with which many parents struggle.
Talk to them about what they want in the new home and take them with you to look at homes if they want to go. When you purge belongings, remember that items that don’t matter to you may be sentimental to your kids. If you don’t want to keep an item, but your child does, compromise and let the item stay in his or her room.
While getting a head start on moving is important, it’s also critical to keep the lives of your children as normal as possible during a divorce or move, so don’t get too ahead of yourself.
Divorce and moving are major transitions, but any big change can spark an opportunity to swap bad habits for positive ones. Whether you need to stop smoking, start recycling, improve your diet, or make a better effort of staying in touch with friends, a variation in your routine may be just what you need to get started.
However, be aware that the window of opportunity is limited to the first three months after the transition, so don’t wait too long to seize the opportunity.