Recently divorced? These New Year’s resolutions are for you.

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If you’re recently divorced, you may be more than ready to put a particularly difficult year in the past and move on with your life. Now is a great time to look to the future with fresh eyes and optimism. Every January offers a clean slate for a brand new year, so consider the following resolutions to help you commit to self-care and improvement in 2021.

  • Focus on you. Divorce is a taxing process that can leave you completely drained. You can combat some of those feelings by prioritizing your mental and physical health so you’re at your best throughout the New Year. Eating and sleeping well can significantly improve how you feel both physically and mentally. If you don’t already exercise regularly, think of some things you enjoy that will increase your physical activity and the amount of time you spend outdoors. Be deliberate about planning trips or activities that you can look forward to throughout the year.
  • Be kind. Being kind to yourself and others will generally make you feel better. This is especially important as you deal with pain, disruption, and uncertainty during the difficult aftermath of divorce. Resolve to be respectful and nice – even when it’s challenging – in an effort to make things easier on you and everyone impacted by the divorce. Forgiving yourself and your spouse is also an important part of moving forward in the New Year.
  • Take control of your finances. Divorce often requires both emotional and financial recovery, whether you’ve lost half your life savings or you’re figuring out how to manage your expenses on one income instead of two. Start by taking stock of your finances and creating a new budget and new goals. Also be sure to update bank and retirement accounts, insurance policies and your will. Consider meeting with a financial expert or lawyer if your situation is complicated or if you simply need some guidance to get started on these important and necessary changes.
  •  Ask for help. Support from others can help you process and recover from a divorce, especially if you’re feeling isolated or depressed. Asking for help can be difficult, but it’s likely that your friends and family members want to be there for you. They just may not know how to go about it. In addition to being open with them, consider joining a support group to connect with others who are going through a similar experience.

It’s not uncommon to feel stuck in the wake of a divorce, but these New Year’s resolutions can help you get back on your feet and move on with your life. Keep in mind that every situation is different, but you are not alone. Seeking professional help could assist you through the recovery process. Psychologists can also help you develop a plan and stick to your commitment to self-care in the New Year and beyond.

David Lowenstein, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the clinical director of Lowenstein & Associates, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to providing therapeutic services to individuals and families, he offers training and consultation to numerous associations, schools and agencies around the country. Additionally, he is a frequent radio and TV guest and a resource and contributing writer for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. Contact Dr. David Lowenstein at 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.