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How to reset and refocus when dealing with divorce

After going through a divorce, moving forward can be hard—finacially and emotionally. Taking the first step can be daunting, and you may need to give yourself a little push to get moving. Start by making simple changes to your routine to ease you into the process of rebuilding and moving past the challenges of divorce. Try these tips for how to reset and take your first steps to life after divorce.

  1. 1. Update your personal information and accounts

    Divorced woman sits on the floor in her living room, updating financial information and accounts

    It’s empowering to take control of your finances and set the course for how you want to begin this new stage in your life. Start simply by updating existing account or creating new accounts in your name. Insurance, checking, savings, retirement, credit cards, Amazon, Netflix, etc. should all reflect your individual, independent status. Between emergency forms for your kids and estate planning, you may need to work with your ex to ensure everything is properly labeled and allocated.

  2. 2. Establish independent financial goals

    Divorced woman meets with a divorce financial advisor to establish independent financial goals

    Organizing and owning your finances doesn’t have to be complicated. Dedicate separate accounts to your new needs and goals as a financially independent individual. Beyond just general checking, savings, or retirement accounts, set up a “rainy day” account—something you can dip into for emergencies or opportunities you haven’t anticipated. Reviewing your budget and setting aside dollars for aspirational and unexpected situations will put you in a better position to achieve and address them.

  3. 3. Understand your budget

    Divorced womansits on the floor with a cup of coffee as she tries to understand her budget after divorce

    Know when, where and how your money is flowing in and out of your life. Take time to assess your spending and saving habits and determine if, where and how you may need to readjust. Meet with a financial advisor who will help you manage your money in a number of ways. From creating a budget to building a financial plan, they’ll help you to modify your financial profile as your needs change in the short or long-term.

  4. 4. Get moving

    A woman in a tracksuit runs through a park as she uses physical activity to clear her mind after divorce

    Move your body and clear your mind. Regular physical activity will increase your endorphins, keep you energized, and boost your motivation throughout the divorce process. Exercising gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself and think (or not think) about your divorce and the new stage of life you’re entering.

  5. 5. Let it go (literally)

    Shattered plates lie on a wood table as a visual representation of literally letting go through the divorce process

    When you find yourself getting stressed out, find an outlet that is healthy, fun and cathartic. Head to a consignment or discount store and buy some plates, glasses or anything that is breakable. Lay a tarp down in your driveway and smash those plates to smithereens! Doing so will help you channel your emotions and find physical release with a clear and satisfying end.

  6. 6. Cleanse your home

    Divorced woman cleanses her home of items that remind her of her ex

    Conducting a “cleanse” of your home can also be cathartic. Pack up any items in your house that remind you of your ex—photos, clothes, furniture, etc.—and donate them to a good cause. Not only will you feel better, you could also potentially benefit from a tax deduction for your donation.

  7. 7. Do something you’ve never done

    A group of women helped their divorced friend take up new opportunities after going through divorce

    Open yourself up to new experiences and people after divorce. Join local groups or organizations, take up a new sport or activity, learn a new language—it may take some time to find what truly interests you, but taking on new challenges will give you the opportunity to learn, grow, and get to know yourself a bit more.

  8. 8. Let it out!

    Divorced woman lets it all out by yelling as she sits in her car

    Those times when you just want to scream? Do it. It’s cathartic to let out any feelings you’ve been suppressing. Instead of holding in a scream or some tears, find a place you feel safe and let it all out. Need a more structured situation where you can find an outlet for all the energy and emotion you’re holding in? Look for a local improv or theater class and channel your feelings into a new hobby.

    Resetting after divorce can be overwhelming but by taking small, meaningful steps forward you will make it more manageable. Focus on the positive, the potential and the promise of your life–you have the opportunity to make it what you want and what you deserve.

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