When I was walking through the divorce process, I felt a wide range of emotions – everything from sadness to shame to relief to anger and back again. Sometimes in a matter of minutes. On my best days, I wasn’t being very kind to myself and on my worst days, I was my own worst enemy. I definitely didn’t have coping tools for divorce.
When you are facing a divorce, some days are just rough. Maybe you didn’t sleep well, and you start the day off grumpy and things only get worse from there. Your kids are upset and it’s difficult to get to school, you spill your coffee in your car or traffic is terrible. You feel pressure and stress with your full-time job and now you must add another full-time job, your divorce process, to the mix. It’s a lot to deal with!
When you are already emotional from the changes in your life, every little thing that goes wrong can feel much bigger than it is. If you’re having a terrible day, stop for a minute, take a deep breath and take some time to be kind to yourself. You can’t undo the bad things that have already happened, but you can turn around your bad day right now. Here are simple things you can do to be kind to yourself and stop that rough day in its tracks.
Take a Break
When everything seems to be going wrong, you can stop that negative spiral by taking a break. Get out of the office if you can, go and do some deep breathing in the park or even look out of the window for a few minutes. A change of scenery can often work wonders. Practice some deep breathing and maybe have an herbal tea or a glass of water. If you have the time, adult coloring books are a great way to calm and focus your mind. Implement anything that makes you feel better and more in control.
Meditation or Prayer
When I was going through this process I used a lot of spiritual tools – specifically mediation and prayer. I used these tools often throughout the day and any time I had to deal with a divorce issue or my soon-to-be-ex-spouse. It was one of the most important tools I had. In fact, several times when I should have been losing my mind these tools provided a peace that surpasses all understanding – I have no other way to explain it. Meditation can be as simple as turning your back to your computer at work and breathe deeply while concentrating on your breathing for just two minutes.
Plan Something Nice for Yourself
If your day is going from bad to worse, give yourself something to look forward to. Plan to do something luxurious and relaxing. You might take a long bath with the good bath oil, splurge on takeout for dinner, book a weekend away or set up dinner with a friend. I met with my Divorce Care group weekly on Tuesday nights and then dinner was always after. This was my weekly solace and something I never missed. I also met with my girlfriends weekly for lunch – just one of many coping tools for divorce I needed to help get through the process. Whatever it is for you, put it on the calendar and let nothing change those plans! You need to take care of you in order to better take care of those who rely on you.
Be Your Own Best Friend when Dealing with a Divorce
Take a moment to consider how you’re talking to yourself. Are you beating yourself up about your divorce? Everyone has bad days, you need nurturing, not beating up!
Do you believe the terrible things your former life partner is saying about you? I can relate to that. However, once I was on the other side of the divorce I realized very few of the accusations or ugly words he spoke to me were true. People say crazy things when they are scared and in divorce specifically. Don’t buy it!! More so, don’t reiterate it in your own head with your own voice. Getting an outside perspective from a friend or counselor can also be very comforting.
Gratitude and Celebrating the Wins
Sometimes it can feel like an achievement to get through the day at all when you’re dealing with a breakup. If you’re having a bad day, write down all of your wins, big and small. Focusing on the positive and being grateful can change your perception. If you took the time to eat lunch, went for a jog, had a family meal with your children, or walked the dog, you are on a winning streak! Make it fun and pat yourself on the back for all the checks on your list. I also created a gratitude journal. At the end of my divorce, I had more pages than I ever expected of things I was personally grateful for. I was stronger, I had survived and I was better for it, I was out of a loveless marriage, I was free to start over, I was healthy, and my most memorable – I had the entire closet to myself, etc.
By embracing these coping tools for divorce you’ll find a happier, healthier you. If you are struggling with your finances as it relates to your divorce, though, we highly recommend calling in a professional. Contact Divorce Strategies Group today for help navigating one overwhelming part of divorce – your finances and your financial future.