Your divorce is final. Are you excited about your new lease on life? Or are you taking gentle steps toward your “new normal?”

Either way, many divorcees feel a sense of relief to finally put the complex divorce process behind them. If you fall into the first group, with that relief you may be tempted to jump head first into your life as a newly single individual. If you are of the latter group, your relief may have you wishing for as much distance from your divorce as possible.

During the sensitive time following your divorce finalization, it’s wise to keep these three words in mind: no sudden moves.

You have likely experienced a traumatic upheaval through your divorce including your living arrangements, finances, family dynamics, circle of friends and day-to-day life. Psychologists maintain that the one-year period after a traumatic life change is critical.

What Not to Do During Your First Year of Divorce

You may not feel strong enough to make major decisions at this time and I urge you to delay them. Major life decisions include:

  • Purchasing or selling of property
  • Starting a serious relationship
  • Changing careers
  • Any other major choices or financial transactions

Leave these changes, especially ones involving pen and ink, to at least a year after your divorce. You need to give yourself enough time to get a foothold on your new version of “normal” and become more stable and solidified.

How you feel at the time your divorce is finalized will change drastically in the months and years to come. Whether your feelings about the divorce are raw or relieved, emotions run high and will alter as you heal from the end of your marriage.

What to Do in Your First Year After Divorce

Within your first year after divorce, allow yourself time to become accustomed to the flow of your new life. Don’t hesitate to undertake new challenges that aim to improve your wellbeing, such as:

  • Continuing educational courses
  • Starting fitness regimes
  • Discovering new hobbies

These activities improve your stability and let you get to know yourself better as an individual, who you truly are separate from your former spouse. Above all, be kind and nurture yourself. Your first year after divorce is a time for reflection, healing and growth, and the time for you to start shaping your future.

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