Thrive. A word of hope and fulfillment. Merriam-Webster offers one definition as “To progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” A connotation that you’ve gotten over the hurdle and landed on the other side to a place of flourishing. In the midst of grief and stress, thriving can seem a long way off. Being able to thrive is an outflow of caring for yourself. With time and a commitment to moving forward, healing can take place, and grief can be replaced with flourishing.
As we focus this quarter’s education topic on issues during divorce, we’re taking a more holistic view of its effects and incorporating some practical tips to help set you up to thrive, both personally and financially.
Caring for Yourself Personally
Times of stress require intentional self-care, one of the most important things to incorporate into your life to keep all other parts moving. If you know what care practices help you stay grounded, incorporate them into your weekly schedule. It could be time in nature, meditation, reading, and much more. Practices that are especially important during stressful times are regular sleep, healthy eating, and exercise because these three impact both your brain and body.
Lean on the right people
Surrounding yourself with people who love you is another way to care for yourself. There is a difference between being around people and being with your true community of people. Your true community is there for you to talk it out without judgment. They’re listening and caring for you to help you sort out thoughts and feelings. If this community doesn’t occur naturally for you, joining a therapy group, church group, or men’s/women’s group can help build this network.
Be intentional with your time
It’s also important to distinguish what helps you thrive and what depletes you. Say yes to the things that bring you life and no to the things that cause additional stress. You may have to intentionally step back on commitments that have filled your time in the past. Draw boundaries around your time to focus on your well-being and the well-being of the ones you love.
Give yourself grace
Experiencing the end of a relationship can bring many counter-productive feelings, so keeping grace at the forefront of your mind can help keep perspective. There is certainly a time for self-analysis and the growth that comes from it, but a healthy mindset knows to keep negative feelings of self-blame at bay. True healing also doesn’t take place quickly. It is often a process of progress and regression — two steps forward, one step back. Patience in the healing process helps you and those around you land in a better spot.
Caring for Yourself Financially
Understanding and caring for financial matters that can come with divorce can help eliminate stress in other areas. In our previous blog article, we discussed practical steps on how to set yourself up for financial strength. Here are some additional items that should be considered.
Mind your credit score
Divorce itself doesn’t affect your credit score, but it’s important to understand what does and how your credit score can change during a financial split. Payment history has the biggest impact on credit score and accounts for 35% of a FICO score. Even one late payment can impact a credit score. If you haven’t been the bill payer, start good habits to pay bills on time. And use resources to help, such as Quicken Bill Manager or a bill-paying service, if needed.
Closing joint accounts is important, but if you plan to close a credit card in only your name, do your research and understand how it can impact your credit score. Closing credit cards can lower the average age of your accounts as well as the percentage of available credit you’re using — two important factors in determining credit history.
Update with SSA
If you change your name after a divorce, update all accounts, including contacting the Social Security Administration with the change.
Create a new financial plan
It’s important to understand how your financial life has changed after a divorce. A fee-only financial planner can help you gain insight into how your retirement and life goals may have changed, as well as help implement strategies to help you achieve these goals on your own.
In life’s challenges, putting one foot in front of the other keeps you moving forward. With self-care and the help of qualified professionals providing expertise and knowledge, you can land on the other side to flourishing. Reach out to us to see how we might be able to help in your financial situation.