I can honestly say that I don’t spend very much time reading about celebrities or the dramatic break ups in Hollywood. However, the breakup of Katie Holmes (age 33) and Tom Cruise (age 50) caught my attention. Tom and Katie seemed like a happy couple. I can remember when Tom Cruise stood up on Oprah’s couch and proclaimed his love and happiness about being in a relationship with Katie. Who would have thought that almost six years later their marriage would end?
I have personally not gone through a divorce, but I feel like I am a strong
sympathizer for people who have gone through it. While I can’t claim that I know exactly how Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are feeling, I can put some thoughts and research together that I might help someone who is going through or has gone through a divorce.
Whether you are the “leaver” or the “leavee,” recovering from a divorce can be a very painful process. Many people want to move out of the pain and misery they may feel. However, author Pamela Blair says:
“Unfortunately, recovery from divorce is not an express elevator from the basement of grief to the penthouse of joy. It’s more like a maze: you go forward a bit, become confused, find the way forward again, hit a wall, retrace your steps, find a new way forward, realize you took the wrong turn and back-track again.”
Divorce experts say that one of the first steps to handling the stress and emotion of a divorce is to focus on your feelings. This might be a good time to seek out a professional counselor to help you sort out your feelings and give you the tools to navigate the gamut of feelings that follows a divorce.
After you have organized and sorted out the legal issues of a divorce, the next step is to organize and examine your goals. What do you want to do with your life? How do you want to move forward? What do you want to accomplish? Having a new direction and focus can bring a renewed sense of accomplishment and motivation.
With that said, experts also caution divorced individuals not to make any hasty decisions about their life. It’s easy to get caught up in the grief and want to remove yourself from painful memories, but you don’t want to compound your problems by making poor financial, emotional or personal decisions. Get the right people around you to help you make some of the big decisions.
I personally really like this advice: Maintain your physical fitness. Exercise is a great stress reliever and mood booster. Exercise can also reduce stress, anxiety and help you get a better night’s sleep, which all can be salient during a divorce.
Finally, take some time to serve others who are struggling or maybe even going through a divorce themselves. You do have things to offer other people, and service is a great way to reconnect.