There is no doubt that divorce is a taxing event. In the midst of having to run through an emotion spectrum that shifts through sadness, anger, relief, hurt, liberation, disbelief and adventure on almost a daily basis, you still have to deal with the rest of your life (including feeding the cat). This is going to be an emotionally and physically taxing period in your life, that can be made a bit easier by:
Cultivating positive traits
- Maintain your cool. A goal that is easier said than done, but at its core, the divorce process is about building your new future and you are going to have to make some very important decisions–decisions that will have a lasting impact on your life. These are decisions that are best made rationally and objectively, but these are not decisions you necessarily have to make on your own. The best decisions come out of knowledge, so be willing to invest time into educating yourself.
- Keep a healthy focus on the future. Yes, things are bad now, but they will get better. Recognize the past for what it is, past. As Dickens put it, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Mourn its loss, praise it for the blessings it provided, curse it for the troubles it inflicted, but in the midst of all that, remember you are walking a path that leads forward to what can be a very productive, fulfilling, secure future.
- Stay organized. Divorce is a complex juggling act. You are going to be asked to maintain some semblance of a normal life while simultaneously tracking deadlines, paperwork, homework and appointments. Take a little time and develop a strategy for managing your divorce. By the way, while there may be an app or apps for this, there is nothing wrong with going low-tech; a three ring binder, a set of dividers, and a pocket calendar may be all you need.
Being good to yourself
- Nurture your physical and emotional self. Hit the gym, read a book, take a nap, go fishing, have a healthy lunch, take your kids to the zoo. Take the time to laugh, to play, to socialize, and to be joyful. Structuring a little self-care into your day helps reduce stress and negative emotions.
- Remember, it’s OK to feel. Divorce is filled with emotions and there is nothing wrong with experiencing the entire spectrum. The important thing is to deal with them in a healthy manner. This is one situation where a little counseling can go a long way.
- Build a support system. Be open to accepting help from friends and family; a homemade casserole, a dinner invitation or a couple of hours of babysitting may be all you need to turn a bad day around.