Moving forward after divorce can be one of the hardest things you do, but it can be done! Just check out how these top celebs have moved forward after their wedded un-bliss.
Celeb Advice on Moving Forward
When reality celeb Khloe Kardashian sat down with Complex magazine for their August/September the main topic was just how healthy she’s gotten after her break from Lamar Odom. But that was impossible to speak of without further delving into the whole divorce conversation.
“I talk to Lamar as often as I can, which is inconsistent, but not on my terms,” Kardashian said. “When you genuinely feel like that was the right relationship, you’re supposed to give it all you can. That’s what marriage is about. It’s not, ‘Let’s see if it works, if not we always have divorce.’ I am not one of those girls. You took a vow before God and you’re supposed to abide by that.”
She went on to say that she misses Odom “every day.”
“I miss what we had – things we got to do together are just memories. I like looking back and holding on to that stuff,” she said. “I definitely miss it, and there’s times I’ll get so sentimental and so sad, but this had to happen for some reason. I’ll figure it out over time, someone will give me that answer eventually.”
In a recent interview, Gwen Stefani opened up about her divorce from Gavin Rossdale, the front-man of the band Bush. The two had been a huge “celeb couple” for years, including 13 years of marriage.
“My life is so extreme right now,” Stefani, 46, told Daly. “My life basically blew up in my face. And now I’m in this new life, and it’s pretty awesome I have to say — I’m so inspired and being back on the show, and just being in a new place. Everything just feels new. I just feel inspired. I don’t know how else to describe it,” she said during the interview.
For Stefani, it seems that her healing process is all about getting back to work on her music. “My value on myself is by songwriting . . . I think within 8 weeks I had 19 songs . . . I was like, ‘Listen all I wanna do is I just want to say the truth. I just want the truth to come out. I just want to be honest and real that represents where I’m at right now.'”
Moving on After Divorce
Divorce is an emotional process and no two divorces are alike. That means your best friend’s divorce will not be like yours. Because of this, it can be hard to get a full picture on what divorce is. Working with an attorney to help ease the division of marital property, child custody, and spousal support issues. But a lawyer will only be able to focus on the legal issues (as they should). Meanwhile, your therapist will focus on the emotional issues (as they should). While both of these professionals will be able to dive into their specific roles, they will not be able to switch places. So lawyers might not see underlying motivations of your ex. And your therapist will not be able to help you decide to settle the complex financial regulations of dividing up property. Your family and friends, are also not your therapist or your attorney. What they can offer is support, but be wary of taking any advice. You can consult the internet, wade through hours of self-help books, or meetings, but there is no “one stop shop” when it comes to your divorce.
Divorce Like a Death
According to Natalie Greggs, an attorney in Allen, Texas, “Self-care is the number one thing that gets you through the day.” Though she is an attorney, and not a therapist, she advises clients that self-care is the best method to get them through this rough time.
So what should you do if you are going through a divorce? Here are some tips to practice self-care.
Exercise.“If you’re not on a regular exercise routine, get on one,” Greggs says. “You don’t have to belong to a gym. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just take a walk every day.”
Exercise is good for anyone, even people not going through a divorce. But it can be especially helpful for those going through traumatic times because exercise helps your body produce endorphins, which are feel-good brain chemicals. According to Lindsay Hunt, a certified integrative nutrition coach and personal trainer, exercise also increases self-confidence, can help improve sleep and reduces symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. And exercise can be any form of physical movement, including: dancing, walking, yoga, swimming.
Find something you enjoy doing and you’ll be more likely to repeat it regularly and often.
You might consider finding a friend or workout buddy who can pull you off the couch and hold you accountable.
Change Up Your Diet. Emotional times can often cause people to gain or lose weight. Divorce can magnetize these ups and downs, causing them to veer out of control. You can completely restrict meals, or binge on unhealthy foods.
“I had a slender client who, over the course of a year, proceeded to lose probably 50 pounds,” Greggs recalls. “By the end of her case, she was skeletal.” It can also go the other way, a licensed marriage and family therapist, Mikki Meyer, had a client who gained close to 100 pounds.
“Eating the right foods may ease depression and calm anxiety” during a divorce, says Hunt. She also recommends eating three square meals a day that combine protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Having a variety of these items on your plate will keep your blood sugar stable, and help prevent dips that lead to cravings. Also, studies have shown that a diet high in antioxidants might ward off depression. That means fill your plate with fruits and veggies.
Try to avoid a lot of sugar, artificial ingredients, salty foods, excessive caffeine intake, and alcohol. Studies have shown that dehydration can increase cortisol (stress hormones) levels, so Hunt also recommends that people drink a lot of water.
Try to Maintain a Normal Schedule. Though it might seem hard to get back to a normal schedule, it’s important that you try to. “Consistency is important” for your emotional health, Greggs says. “Show up to work on time. Have your routine. Make [yourself] and your children go to bed when you usually go to bed. Don’t act like the divorce is ending your life.”
Be Preventative with Your Health. Researchers are taking a closer look at the long-term effects of divorce. Mark Hayward, a sociology professor and director of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas—Austin who researches these long-term health impacts has found the stress of divorce can accelerate the biological processes that lead to cardiovascular disease. According to him, divorced, middle-aged women are more likely to develop heart disease than non-divorced, middle-aged married women.
Sociologists at the University of Chicago recently did a study whose results showed divorced or widowed individuals are 20% more likely than married people to have chronic health conditions including: heart diseases, diabetes, or cancer.
Hayward advises that you do preventative work that ensures your long-term health isn’t harmed. This means seeking out preventive health education and medical care, and proactively engaging in heart-healthy habits.
Support Network. Friendships can be hard to maintain after a divorce. “When people split up, they often lose their friendship bases,” Meyer says. “Their friends usually pick one or the other; it’s too difficult to have [both couple members] in their lives.” This common “division of friends” can worsen depression and anxiety and cause social isolation.
If your old social networks are no longer available to you, Meyer advises finding new ones. There are tons of options available: support groups; Meetup.com outings; maybe a charity you’ve always wanted to become involved with. Just make sure you steer clear of social networks that might mean your ex-spouse will show up.
Relax. We know stress is not good for us. Divorce-induced stress can cause any number of physical maladies. Gregg says she’s seen it all with her clients: gastrointestinal issues, hair loss, high blood pressure, crashing immune systems and more. That’s why it’s important to find ways to de-stress, such as yoga or simply downloading a meditation app.
Mindfulness. The positive effects of mindfulness are at the forefront of psychological research right now. This Eastern philosophy teaches people to be continuously in the moment and aware of the present rather than worrying about the past or future. Greggs suggests, “Enjoy your children when you’re with them. Or go outside in the morning, and just look at the sun rising. It’s simple things like this that keep you grounded in reality – not catastrophic thinking.”
Consider the Help of a Therapist or Mental Health Professional. If you are already genetically predisposed to clinical depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, you might want to think about seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist. If you don’t feel open to that, consider seeing a general medical practitioner for an overall wellness checkup that includes a depression screening.
Hold the Brakes on Another Relationship. Consider the single life for a while. It’s not uncommon for Meyer to see her clients engage in impulsive behavior during their divorces. “This can lead them in a direction that is self-destructive,” she says. “They get involved in bad relationships and repeat old patterns. They’re trying to repair something from their past with this new person. And it’s not something they’re conscious of [at the time].”
Both Gregg and Meyer advise their divorcees to stay single for a little bit while concentrating on themselves.
“My clients sometimes start crying, and they say, ‘I’m never going to find anyone again,” Greggs says. “And sometimes I’ll just say, ‘You don’t need anybody. You just need you to be happy.’”
Working With an Attorney
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process. An attorney will be able to help you through various aspects, including decisions on children, determining spousal support, and dividing marital property.