Divorce and separation is a very difficult time. It’s important to take good care of yourself to help keep stress levels to a minimum. This in turn helps give you the energy reserves to deal with the changes in your life as well as the legal case.
Here are my top tips for staying sane:
Get plenty of sleep
Emotional stress is exhausting and you may need more sleep at the moment. It’s a good idea to also rest during the day when possible. Just a 20mins power nap or lie down can do wonders to re-energise you for the rest of the day.
It’s important to take time to relax both mind and body. Massage is very good for releasing tension in the body and relaxation techniques such as meditation help slow down the chatterbox in our minds.
Whilst sugary treats and alcohol may seem appealing to help us feel better at stressful times, sugar and alcohol in fact worsen anxiety levels in the body and can lower mood. Look after yourself by being kind to your body with healthy food. The odd treats are fine but be careful not to rely on them.
This may be the last thing on your mind at the moment but it’s a great release for pent up frustration and anger. It also boosts mood. It doesn’t have to involve a heavy work-out; walking in the fresh air every day really helps. For more information on this read my blog How Exercise Can Help You Cope Better With Your Divorce.
Let your solicitor do the work
Worrying about things beyond your control is only going to cause you more stress than you are already experiencing. Let your divorce lawyer handle the dirty work. That’s what you hired them for, so let them earn their fees. If you have not yet instructed a solicitor, read my blog How To Choose Your Divorce Solicitor for my tips.
Give yourself time off
Easier said than done, I know, to decide not to think about the divorce. But try to compartmentalise a little so you give yourself time and space to do/think about something else. It will help you feel fresher for dealing with the divorce. Keep doing things you enjoy where possible, to keep some normality in your life.
Don’t try and do it alone. During divorce and separation, many people feel very lonely and isolated. Choose trusted friends or relatives to confide in how you are feeling and let them support you. Don’t be a martyr; let your nearest and dearest show you how much they care.
Choose carefully who you decide to confide in
Whilst getting support from those around you is really important, try to keep your confidantes to a select number of people. Our friends and family have the best intentions but you may not always want to hear their opinions and suggestions when you are already feeling very vulnerable. The more people you talk to about the divorce the more you open yourself up for receiving well- meant but possibly unhelpful comments. Choose “Team Sarah/Penny etc.” carefully. Many people prefer to confide in professionals like divorce coaches or counsellors where there is no judgement; it’s all about support. For more information see my blog The Benefits Of Divorce Coaching.
Be kind to yourself
This is always the homework I give my clients! Do not be too hard on yourself. Whatever your personal circumstances which brought about the separation, remember you did not ask to be in an unhappy marriage with the turmoil and emotional stress involved. Take good care of yourself and spend time with people who love you and make you feel good.
Put the children first
Try to keep things as normal as possible for the children by keeping to their regular routine. Avoid arguments between you and your spouse in front of the children. DON’T talk to your children about your frustrations with your ex -spouse and the legal case. It’s not fair on them. As parents, there are naturally feelings of guilt associated with protecting the children through the divorce. Put the children first when making decisions that affect them. Your feelings of guilt will lessen when you know you are doing the best for them. You will end up with happier children who are more likely to come out unscathed by Mum and Dad’s divorce.
Make strong informed decisions
Don’t rush to make big decisions you are unsure about. Emotions may be running high and you desperately want this uncomfortable time in your life to be over. Making rash decisions is not helpful. Use your solicitor, “Team Sarah/Penny etc.” and your divorce coach or counsellor, to talk through the consequences of the different options available to you. It’s important to make the right decisions for you and your children’s futures. Use your head not your heart when making decisions that could affect you long term. You’ll feel more confident and empowered, when you know you have made strong decisions.
For more help and advice about all issues related to divorce and separation, please get in touch with me here
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you will find lots more in my ebook “Tips for Coping with Divorce” which you can download here: free ebook.
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