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  • Writer's pictureKindra Beck

Bucket List After Divorce

Start making your bucket list for the next year of things you want to try that have slipped away or new activities that you want to do. First on the bucket list should be forgiving yourself and others. I had to go through my tough times during my divorce such as seeing another woman enter into my children’s lives and (to me it felt like) replacing me, fighting spousal support requests several times, supporting not only my kids, but my ex on my insurance for over three years during our separation and separation from my children for extremely long periods of time. But with all that said, I had to get to a point where I forgave my ex and moved on with my life. I will say that again. I forgave him so I could move on with my life. Was I mad? Yes! Was I doing harm to my emotional health by not letting go? Yes! Without forgiving those who have done us wrong, it will only affect your health, not theirs. Think about it. When you get upset or mad at the other person, does that affect them? Or does it just ruin your day?

Back to the bucket list. What else should you include? Implement some sort of exercise into your daily routine to help release those feelings of anger. According to research, exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.

It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s that you just do something! It can be as simple as a walk or as strenuous as CrossFit. And it also doesn’t have to be forever. I tried it all – running, yoga, walking, playing sports and CrossFit. I never said “no” to anyone who asked me to do some sort of exercise. One day a co-worker asked me to go to kickboxing class during lunch, which I did. It turned out that not only did I enjoy the workout, I liked working out in the middle of a workday. There are so many studies that show exercise in whatever fashion is beneficial not only for our physical health, but our mental health. I was able to make more informed decisions and avoid the afternoon “drag” by taking out some morning frustration on a bag. I encourage you to try something new too. You never know how it might affect you in a positive way. Or if you can’t get out for a workout or you are not ready to take that step, try just a walk to clear your head and breathe for 20 minutes. It’s still moving your body and helping to create that positive mental attitude and when you go to bed at night you will feel accomplished, even if it is only 20 minutes.

On your bucket list, there should be lots of new things for you to try. Embrace the new you. The COVID pandemic in 2020 really sent us to learning “new” quickly. New to homeschooling, working from home, and restricted to our houses most of the time. One year afterwards, we were still wearing masks in public and hugging was out of the question and most office jobs never returned to the office. However, it has brought many good things to light. Such as more family time, whether it’s at dinner or during the day. So many of us struggled with work/life balance before COVID but now that we had a chance to be home during this time and watch our kids play outside, we regained balance. We regained what is important, the simple life. One of my favorite results of the pandemic was that everyone was in workout clothes such as yoga pants and sweatshirts, even the morning show, Live with Ryan and Kelly, while they were doing a virtual show from their homes. They even did an episode in their pajamas with no makeup! There wasn’t a challenge to look fashionable or too fake—just real people leading real lives. It brought families outside and together for activities and exercise. It brought opportunities to help other humans in ways that we never have before. It gave us time to self-reflect, read and be creative.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. I will say after my separation, I started painting furniture, nothing of which I enjoyed before, but I loved changing something old into new. I loved seeing it come back to life and be restored. I think a lot of that work was my subconscious telling me that I could relate to that dresser. The dresser that came from grandma’s house and looked old, tired, worn out, but had the potential to be something greater, brighter, more attractive. Can you relate? After your divorce, can you relate to something old being revived? How can you be something more? Something greater? Something more attractive than before?

Shortly after painting a few pieces and crafting new projects, I found a crossfit gym that I liked. I had never done crossfit, but I thought I would enjoy lifting and the community. I was noticing in my older age, that I was losing muscle mass and I was too young to notice those changes. I loved the gym! I loved the challenge, loved that I could take my children and they could workout beside me, loved that everyone there supported you where you were at and your goals, not theirs. I found peace in that hard workout because it helped me release some frustration and I lost weight along the way, which was unexpected. Going to the gym became an obsession. I wanted to be there three times a week, but my workload was increasing and with the children’s activities, I had to change my schedule. You can always come back to what you enjoy, right?

Yoga. Peace. Serenity. Focus. Strength. Relaxation. All wrapped up into one package. My co-worker first asked me to go and I was hesitant because I just got done doing crossfit which was more intense and I didn’t know what yoga involved, but I thought it was stretching and laying on a mat or as my boyfriend calls it, “stretch and fart class”. However, I found out that it was much more and I needed to focus, relax my mind and take time to clear my mind. That helped me just to go twice a week after work to become more aware of my reactions to situations, my inner peace and my boundaries.

The rest of my bucket list was created as life evolved and is still happening. I took my kids on vacation by myself to St. Louis, I started my own business, I took unexpected trips with friends, I bought my first SUV and the list goes on and on. I actually created a vision board and as I accomplish one vision, I create another. Canva has a great vision board template that you can use then as your background or screen saver and look at it all the time as a reminder of where you are going.

Last tip: Manifest what you want to become. How?

  1. Make a vision board. ...

  2. Start journaling. ...

  3. Say positive affirmations. ...

  4. Consider your dreams before bed. ...

  5. Go outside the box. ...

  6. Surround yourself with positivity. ...

  7. Walk the walk.

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