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Is this your first teaching semester since your divorce?

College campuses in Texas are gearing up for a new school year. As a teacher, you probably have mixed emotions about that idea. Although you may look forward to getting back in the classroom, meeting new students (or reconnecting with some who are returning) and doing what you do best: teaching — you might also be a little sad that your vacation is coming to an end. If your summer included settling a divorce, your emotions may still be a bit raw as well.

You might have convinced yourself that for professionals like you divorce should be no big deal, that is, until you actually went through the process. Most people who divorce agree that it is one of the most stressful things they have ever done. If you're worried about getting a hold on your emotions so you can go to school, do your job and move on with your life, there are several things you can do to cope with your losses and set the tone for a successful future.

The state of your overall well-being is important

It's understandable if you don't really feel like jumping right back into life's busy affairs following your divorce, especially if your marriage lasted 10 years or more. You shared a significant portion of your life with your spouse and it may take time to adjust to living as a single person again. The following list provides practical tips for staying healthy in mind and body post-divorce:

  • Allow emotions to flow freely: One day you might feel a bit down or melancholy, another you may be angry or frustrated. The ever-changing range of emotions can be confusing following divorce, but a key factor in getting things back on track is to resist fighting your own emotions; rather, try to acknowledge how you're feeling and work through it.
  • Lean on others for support: It's unlikely you would turn to your students for help in adapting to life after divorce, but you may have a trusted friend or family member who can be a confidant and source of encouragement as you build your new life.
  • Don't be so hard on yourself: Even college teachers can't always be on top of their game. If you have a bad day and you're not feeling up to par in the classroom, it's okay. Do your best and move on to the next day. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of self-blaming or depression; however, it's typically also possible to overcome such obstacles and find joy in life again.
  • Stay physically healthy: Eating healthy foods, exercising, getting outdoors for some fresh air, etc., all these things can help you maintain good health, which is essential to any type of recovery, even getting over your divorce.

If you have children, you'll no doubt also be helping them with many of the same processes that you are going through as everyone gets used to living in separate households and adjusting to the major life changes that have taken place. As a parent, you'll obviously continue to communicate with your former spouse, which might not be so bad if you get along well and achieved an amicable divorce settlement.

Not everyone enjoys a stress-free post-divorce experience, however. It's always best to know where to turn for help should you need it in a pinch. Complications regarding child custody, child support or any other family-related matter are often easier to resolve if you rely on experienced assistance. With access to appropriate resources to help when problems arise and a positive personal attitude toward the future, you may find yourself having your best school year yet.

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