Your divorce is going to be one of the biggest challenges you will face. So being prepared is the best way forward. Here I want to share some steps that got me through the worst times and helped me with coping after divorce.
1. Don’t beat yourself up and think you’re a failure. It’s easy to go into victim mode and constantly go over and over what you could have done differently. If you find yourself in this loop of never-ending thought, divert your focus by reading something uplifting or doing something which you have to really think about.
2. Give yourself a time limit on talking about your breakup. Constantly telling the same story over and over keeps you stuck, taking longer to move on. Start saying ‘I’m free and single again and life is just beginning.’
3. Don’t stalk the ex on social media and especially not his new girlfriend (if he’s moved on). This will leave you feeling even worse by comparing yourself or tearing shreds off a woman you have never met. While it’s tempting, make this your rule at least until the shock has subsided.
4. Have a clear out. If you’re still in the family home, then make it your own. Put away wedding photos and anything that reminds you of your old life. Box it up, hide it away, give it to charity or sell it. Now rearrange the furniture, as changing the layout will trigger fewer memories.
5. Find your tribe. Having people around you who understand or have been through the same can work wonders for our mood. And have at least one friend you can call anytime who doesn’t judge, for a good old rant or cry.
6. Stop worrying about your kids. This is something I spent way too much time on in the beginning, thinking my kids would be damaged in some way and end up hating me. So far, my kids are fine as long as they have love and security. Kids will end up affected if the parents are fighting, depressed or ranting about each other. So keep rants to your friends or your journal.
7. Get out and exercise and keep an eye on nutrition. Exercising we know is one of the best things for low mood and depression. Also when going through long periods of stress it can leave you with a poor appetite, causing you to eat too little, which has a knock-on effect, leaving your mood even worse. Small amounts of highly nutritious food help incredibly.
8. Keep alcohol to a minimum! It’s so easy to reach for a glass of wine to unwind and if it’s just a glass or two that’s fine. Any more than that can lead to bad mistakes, like nasty texts to the ex, losing control in front of the kids. I’ve been there, where I’ve woken up in the morning and been scared to look at my phone, remembering what I sent after a few drinks! It’s not worth it!
And remember this is temporary! You ARE going to get through this and live a fantastic life! If you choose too!