It can be months, even years, before you stop to consider the emotional impact of your separation. Yet, the sooner you do, the easier it will be to work through them. Recovering emotionally after your divorce will allow you to live a healthily, happier life. And this, in-turn, will have a positive impact on your children.
Here are our suggestions to encourage a healthy headspace after divorce.
DEALING WITH EMOTIONS WHEN YOU SEPARATE
Everything is a phase
Life is transient. It is a series of phases. Some good, some bad and everything in between. However you feel right now, recognise that it will not last forever. You may find that you swing between emotions such as relief and liberation, to ones of loss and fear. If you feel bad, hold on to the thought that things will improve. Or, if you feel good, take time to feel grateful and consider what is making you feel better. You can then harness these thoughts for the down-days.
Focus on the future
It is natural when separating to think about the past and try to ascertain what went wrong. Or you may dwell on the present and the challenges you face. Both of these can lead to overwhelm. Instead, aim to focus positively on the future. You will have separated from your partner for a reason and your future is likely to hold less-conflict which will allow you to live more peacefully. A new path in life can be exciting. You are in control of where it takes you. Embrace it and enjoy.
Accept your emotions
Divorce can create such a huge range of emotions. Some days you will feel you are in a complete tailspin. Whatever you feel, accept that it is OK. Feeling guilty or worrying that your emotions are out of kilter will not serve you. Instead, acknowledge that feeling sad, lonely, calm or happy is absolutely fine. Doing a short meditation with an app such as Headspace each day will clear your mind, help you relax and bring more control into your world.
You are normal
OK, so you got divorced. Couples separate every day and although every situation is unique, it is perfectly normal in today’s society. Talk to friends who have been through or are experiencing similar circumstances. Equally helpful is to reach out online. There are lots of resources available for single parents, including websites and Facebook groups. Knowing others are experiencing similar journeys will normalize your emotions and make you feel less alone.
Give yourself time
Divorce is known as one of lives most stressful situations. It is a big thing. And you have done it and come out the other side to tell the tale. The ramifications and emotions will not disappear with the signing of the divorce papers. Don’t compare yourself to others. We all heal differently. Allow yourself all the time you need to work through your emotions, and understand that there is no time limit and no pressure.
Create new habits
You may find negative emotions are hard to shift if you are pining for your pre-divorced life. If you are struggling to let go, consider creating new healthy habits. Kids are the perfect people to help you with these and it can also help them cope with your divorce. Perhaps a new bedtime routine or a weekly visit to the park. Getting in a content rhythm and having simple pleasures to look forward to will remove your focus from ‘what was’ to ‘what is’.
Seek professional support
For many people, the intervention of professional support in the form of a counsellor or phycologist can be invaluable. Friends and family are known to offer well-meaning support which comes from a place of love, however they can also be too involved, opinionated or bias. Talking to someone removed from the situation is not only therapeutic, but you will learn handy tools to help you cope with your everyday life.