By Mark Shields

Divorce can be a truly painful experience, and people deal with the aftermath in different ways. Some begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel quickly, while others continue to foster darkness and deeper feelings of pain and loss.  The key is to choose the path that leads you towards the light by keeping yourself active, staying close with friends, developing new relationships and becoming a healthier person mentally, physically and spiritually.

Stay Active

Once divorced, you may find you have much more time on your hands to participate in activities you’ve always wanted to do. Have you ever wanted to take a tennis lesson?  Now is the time to do it!   You might also consider joining an adventure group who experiences the wonders of the outdoors and who climbs, bikes, hikes or simply meanders through the paths and trails of nature.  There are organizations of all kinds that don’t necessarily call themselves ‘support’ groups, but just turn out to be supportive.  It’s a great way to meet new and interesting people and to get in touch with yourself.   Some other ideas include: book clubs, ballroom dancing and taking fitness classes at a gym.  No matter what your interest, do some research to find your niche.

Write

Writing is another way to exfoliate your pain.  Grab a leather journal, and begin a journey.   Write down everything you feel, think and dream without anyone looking over your shoulder.  There should be no one there to judge your; you’re just answering to yourself.  It’s a great way to cleanse your system of all of the hurt and pain you’ve recently experienced.

Hang with Friends

Staying close with those you care about is important.  How many times have you been there for your friends when they were having a tough time?   Just try to remember that you’re not burdening your friends when you need them during the divorce process.  Feeling lonely in an empty house?  Call up a pal and go for a walk or watch a funny movie together.  Being surrounded by love in this hard time is one of the best forms of medicine, as long as you open up and allow them inside to comfort you.

Be Healthy

You will also want to get on a health routine if you haven’t already started one.  Working out helps boost your endorphins and can turn sadness and sorrow upside down, giving you hope and happiness.   Join a gym, a hiking club or a sports team.  Even just getting out there for and walking your pain away can be just what you need.

No matter what you do, let go of your past and live in the present.  Once you’ve used these ideas to fully move on, you can look forward to your future.

Mark Shields is a partner at the law offices of Gillespie, Shields & Durrant.  His specialties as a Phoenix family lawyer include Paternity and Grandparent’s rights.  He has been practicing law in Arizona since 1997.