9 ways to reduce the stress of separation
I think most people (myself included) who have ever been through a divorce would agree that it is a hugely stressful process.
Apart from the deep heartbreak and grief at the loss of a relationship, the other thing that makes it hard is the loss of control. I can't take away the stress, anxiety, and grief but I do have a few tips and strategies to help ease the process.
- Don’t try to control everything. You can’t, and trying to control is a sure path to resentment and frustration. When this gets especially tough (say when your ex is delaying paperwork), start to plan or think about what the future might look like when everything is settled. There will be some aspects that you can control. If some things depend on an outcome you’re waiting for, there is still nothing wrong with imagining what it might or could look like. Get through your present frustration by taking fantasy trips into your new, better future, and use that imagery to pull you through each day
- Try to prevent brain shut down. Remember, when you are stressed, anxious, tired or all of the above and more, your brain can lose its ability to think and be rational. Use your trusted friends to help you navigate decisions, especially ones that have financial implications.
- Make sure you are constantly looking forward, not backwards. No amount of replaying what happened, or wondering what you could have done differently, will help you. Besides, this type of self-flagellation only hurts you, not the other person. Feeling angry is normal, but don’t let it take over.
- Seek help if you need it. There are some wonderful therapists who can help you be more constructive around your current and future life. They can assist with self-esteem issues, and all the things that take a hit when we go through separation or divorce.
- Where possible, don’t make any big sweeping decisions. Take one day at a time. Try to remain physically active, eat healthily and take up a hobby if it distracts you from the situation. It will sort itself out. However painful it may feel or be right now, have faith and hope.
- Expect tricky situations and challenging moments. If you divorce and you have children, the next few years can be irritating as you negotiate with your ex-partner on child expectations and duties. Depending on the ages of your children, you will probably still need to communicate with each other. Your ex may enter a new relationship, and this can be especially tough if your ex initiated the divorce. You may enter a new relationship, which could be challenging for your ex and your youngsters. Wherever you can, try to pull down the “best for the children filter” with your responses and actions. Again, it will be hard, but it’s a reality of divorce that we all must come to terms with, whether we like it or not. You can make it easier for yourself in the way you react and manage it. Always seek to be the “bigger person” and remember: No one will ever replace you or the other parent in the eyes of your children.
- Don’t close yourself down. Following a divorce, even a relatively amicable one, it’s very easy to decide that you are never getting married again or to assume you’ll never find anyone else. Don’t go there; There is no need. Take the time to rest, recoup and figure out who you are and what you want. The only type of relationship worth having is when both people want to be in that relationship, and they love each other equally. If that isn’t happening, or wasn’t happening, choose instead to be grateful that one of you had the courage to bring the relationship to an end, therefore freeing you both to find happiness.
- Don’t waste your time festering over the relationship. This can be especially difficult if your ex cheated on you, lied or somehow betrayed you. This type of betrayal can be brutally upsetting and heartbreaking. Our confusion might drive us to uncover all the gory details. The urge to “know”, but the upset that comes with “knowing”, is often like a bizarre form of torture. We may be incensed and plot revenge, imagining and reimagining different scenarios which enable us to be more in control and vengeful. The temptation to turn into Sherlock Holmes and investigate the crime is almost irresistible, especially with the technology available to us today that makes such an option too easily accessible. The question to consider, as you’re turning your life upside down is, “What more do I really need to know?” You already know your partner cheated on you. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then what is more information going to provide? How much more evidence do you need? How much information is going to help you feel better? How much grilling and interrogation will make it go away? My guess is none.
- Sunny times are ahead; keep the faith! From my own personal experience of divorce, being a single parent for five years, experiencing online dating (you name it, I tried it), I can tell you: There is a sunny future out there for you. I didn’t think I would ever find it, but I did. You will too. One of the best bits of advice I was given by a friend, when I was feeling as though I was never going to meet anyone else, was, “You need to find someone who allows you to be you.” In other words: Don’t change for someone else, find someone who appreciates and loves you for who you are, warts and all! Life gives us opportunities in the strangest of ways. This could be yours..
Want to learn a little more?
Why not sign up for my webinar on “How to uncover your self-limiting beliefs and become more confident” I’ll be talking more about how self-limiting beliefs can impact our day to day living, where to find them, and how over-turning a self-limiting belief can lead to a much happier, successful, and more fulfilled life. You will have the opportunity to ask questions in a completely anonymous environment.
Places are going to be strictly limited to ensure I’m able to respond to questions so grab your place today!!