Emotional Strategies For Navigating Divorce

When we experience the ending of a relationship, we are dealing with loss and begin to grieve all that we had and all that we were planing to have in our lives. Facing a divorce can be overwhelming, scary and destabilizing at times. You will likely experience these and many other emotions as you go through this process and doing so is normal. People vacillate between a cascade of neutral and positive emotions to negative ones, often from day to day. Change is difficult and a divorce process brings with it aspects of change in just about every area of your life. The family and friend relationships and dynamics will shift and transform as will your sense of identify, personal comforts, and interests. Whether you initiated this process or not, divorce will send you spinning with ups and downs. But you are not alone and there are some important things you can do to reduce your vulnerability to the emotional upheaval and increase your potential for transformation.

Self-care is the first thing that you can begin to focus on to help improve your state of mind, and overall well being. Try to sleep about 7 hours a night, use sleep hygiene techniques to help if your having trouble. Eat healthy, exercise, and stay busy at home and at work. Rest when you need to but don’t overdo it. Connect with friends and family as much as possible. Try to take breaks from thinking about your divorce and what is happening in your life right now. You can do this by meditating, or distracting yourself with movies, good books, and creative outlets. Make self-care a priority as you need all the energy, stamina and positivity you can get to buffer the effects of the challenging times.

Choose a good support system. Seek out friends and family that you feel comfortable talking to, and that are good listeners. Try to avoid people that leave you feeling more concerned, worried, discouraged, and emotionally drained. You will benefit more from being around people you can rely on, that are available for you, that leave you feeling encouraged, hopeful, and can help you to think about things objectively. Finding people to talk to that withhold their opinions and help you think things out objectively can be hard to find and this is when you may want to consider reaching out to a divorce counselor.

Stay organized so you can avoid unnecessary stress resulting from misplaced information as you begin to gather necessary information for your process and work with divorce professionals. Keep one notebook where you can accumulate all your questions, information, and contacts that are related to your divorce process into one place.

Try to avoid as much conflict with your spouse as possible and manage conflict better when you must face it. First consider and evaluate how you are communicating with your spouse and what form of communication is working best. The goal is to be understood, increase the chances that your spouse will be receptive, and to refrain from being provoked or getting provoked by your spouse. For some people face to face communication works best, and for others texting or email or telephone work better. In addition there are many apps that are specifically made to facilitate communication for people that are in a divorce process with children. Try to avoid blaming, shaming or defensive communication and try to move towards a business minded framework in which you can communicate using the same strategies and rules you would if you were dealing with a colleague at work. If there are personal and emotional issues that need to be addressed, schedule these at times that are optimal for having deeper conversations. Use journaling and counseling as a method to help you gain clarity on your interests, objectives and feelings. Educate yourself on effective techniques for managing conflict.

Finally, Begin taking some time to focus on your future and rebuilding your life, self-esteem and identify. Clean out rooms, rearrange furniture and redecorate some personal spaces that are your own. Explore new activities and environments. Joining organizations and clubs can give you an opportunity to meet new people and experience yourself in the eyes of others that have no knowledge of your past identity and can see you for who you are today and moving forward. Read inspiring books, attend support groups and join facebook groups. These are all experiences that can open your mind up to new possibilities where you can see yourself in a new light and experience support that you need to stabilize and grow. As you discover new things, you may identify new interests and develop new skills, which will enhance your emotional resiliency, sense of self and provide a greater chance for you to redefine yourself and transform.

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