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Tips for repairing self-esteem after divorce

Where do you rank your emotional well-being during a divorce? Chances are most people are more concerned with making their court dates, negotiating spousal support and property division agreements, and paying for their divorce than their emotional health. These things are important, but the end of a marriage can take a difficult emotional toll that you should not ignore.

Unlike the legal portion of the divorce, a court cannot issue a conclusion to the emotional processing of your divorce. It's not uncommon to feel down or have your confidence and self-esteem affected by the end of your marriage. It's important not to be too hard on yourself and make yourself a priority. A few things you can do to help your emotional well-being during your divorce include:

  • Focus on the positives. The end of your marriage does not make you a failure. In fact, taking an inventory of your achievements can help remind you of how successful you have been. Whether it was earning a degree, earning a promotion, or saving up to buy your first home, chances are you had to work through difficult times before.
  • Take care of the little things. Physical appearance isn't everything, but little victories like eating well, keeping up with the laundry and maintaining your personal hygiene can help boost your confidence and make you feel better. Household chores and cooking can also be great distractions during hard times.
  • Pay it forward. A great way to make yourself feel better is to do something kind for another person. Research from Dartmouth University tells us that performing acts of kindness increases energy, reduces pain, and releases mood-boosting endorphins.

There's no question that divorce is a life-changing event that has emotional effects. It's understandable to feel sad over the end of your marriage, but there are small steps you can take to help you manage. You may be juggling childcare and legal responsibilities while still trying to make ends meet. Just don't forget to leave a little time for yourself.

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