Statistics show that divorce filings often increase in the U.S. in January, just one month shy of Valentine’s Day. The marketability of each February 14 can overshadow the percentage of Americans who have experienced a return to single life.
According to a population report that was published in 2021 by the U.S. Census Bureau, data from 2014-2016 reflected that “among ever-married adults 20 years and over, 34 percent of women and 33 percent of men had ever been divorced, while the percentage ever divorced was highest for adults aged 55 to 64 (about 43 percent for both sexes).”
Janine Bell, a New York based serial entrepreneur, writer and life coach who was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, focuses her energy on empowering divorced women. Bell, who is divorced herself, started a podcast called “Thanks Divorce.”
“The purpose of it is to highlight the positive transformation that can come after divorce. Marriage is seen as one of life’s biggest accomplishments, and on the other side of that people see divorce as a huge failure, and so the podcast is really to highlight what’s possible after the healing after divorce,” Bell said.
She also explained that a grieving process happens when a marriage ends. Divorce marks the death of the life that a person used to know, the death of a relationship and the death of a dream that a person had for his or her life. Unwillingness to address or acknowledge these realities will get in the way of the healing process.
Bell developed strategies to get through her divorce, including heading to the gym. It became her “happy place.”
“The general consensus as far as healing, even if it’s a heavy lift, is to focus on the things that you can control and normally that’s something to do with your own person, your own body,” Bell said, mentioning another example is eating well.
She added, “Some people are emotional eaters, and so when you don’t feel good, you might reach for the ice cream, but instead maybe make yourself a smoothie or a salad or whatever that might be. So, there’s little small things like treating yourself well, I think is really the core to get yourself out of a rut because you’re giving yourself evidence that you are worthy. That ripples into everything I believe, and I’ve seen the way you treat yourself is a standard of how you want to be treated in the world.”
Instead of dreading Valentine’s Day, Bell offered the option of creating a new memory. From making a playlist of favorite music to having a date with a close friend, unattached, divorced women can find ways to rise above the romantic focus of the day.
“It could be a self-care day. It could be a self-date day. Make your own. Do the thing that you love, and you can prepare for it,” Bell said.
Although it is possible for love to come again, people who found their way to divorce can feel pessimistic about the improvement of their love life.
“That’s the hurt version of you speaking and there will be a day when the hurt version doesn’t have the wheel anymore,” Bell reminded.
The optimistic life coach mentioned that love is everywhere. Romantic love is not the only type. The love family and friends give are other meaningful forms.
“My best advice is really to pour into yourself. I believe in choosing yourself firmly, foremost and fiercely before ever looking to be chosen by someone else and this really this too shall pass. The hurts will go away. You will grow. You will learn. You will get better. The more you pour into yourself, the better you become and show up in the world. You have certain standards for yourself. You attract a different type of person and this is not without coaching or actual therapy. These things really help,” Bell said.
Bell believes that therapy can be required to move forward if different training is needed to help a client analyze core issues to enable positive progression.
When women are ready to mingle more, Bell recommends doing things that they love. She noted that engaging in self-enjoyment can facilitate having something in common with others who show up at the same place. This could lead to a starting point of meeting new people.
Exercising grace and self-compassion are two other points Bell mentioned.
“We don’t have to beat ourselves up for the decisions we made when we were hurting,” Bell said.
She is providing a chance for divorced women to escape the hustle and bustle of life and focus solely on themselves from February 9-12, 2023, in Tulum, Mexico.
Find more information about Bell and her endeavors via https://www.thanksdivorce.com/host.