Divorce is overwhelming and often leaves us in a state of complete panic, fear and anxiety, leaving our heads spinning with thoughts of what we have to do and how to do it.
As time goes on, these feelings and emotions will prevent us from moving in any direction at all. In fact, they cause us to retreat into depression and anger where we eventually withdrawal from all the wonder that life has to offer.
The key to finding a way to manage your thoughts, emotions, and behavior is to know where you are today and make a commitment to move forward by taking baby steps.
The enormity of divorce can make us feel like there is no way out of our current situation. It hinders us from figuring out what to do next. However, the most important strategy at this stage is to move forward, one small step at a time.
The following checklist will help you begin to get those whirling thoughts and emotions out of your head and onto paper. This way, you can begin to see each individual piece on its own rather than one enormous, overwhelming mess!
1. Do you know what you don’t know? If you haven’t already done so, make a list of ALL of the questions you have about where you are today. They can be financial questions, custody questions, career questions, tax questions, parenting questions, etc.
As you are making the list, don’t stop to think about each one. Just write for as long as it takes to get all those questions that leave you wondering, “what do I do now?” down on paper.
2. Have you identified your support resources? Make sure that you take the time to identify those people, places, groups, and activities that support you. Spend time with those people and make time to do those things (hobbies, activities, sports) that make you feel great! You will need this support to maintain your forward-moving momentum.
3. Have you created a budget? One of the hardest aspects to address during and after a divorce is your finances. Facing your finances is not only necessary, but is probably the most important step that you can take to be in control of your life.
Take the time to create a budget for yourself that accurately reflects your lifestyle. Once you know where you are, it will be far easier to make choices going forward.
4. Do you eat healthy? We hear it over and over again, yet most people don’t take the time to eat well even under the best of circumstances. However, it is one of the keys to creating a life that you want.
The journey through divorce will require your time, energy, emotional stamina, patience, and sharp thinking. In order to call on these personal skills, your mind, body, and spirit must be healthy and nourished. Eating well is the best way to do this. Be aware of what you are eating and take care of the one body that you have.
5. Do you get enough sleep? Each person needs a different amount of sleep to feel well-rested. It’s important to know your own needs in this regard for many reasons. Sleep deprivation will lead to depression, exhaustion, emotional instability, poor eating, compromised choices and a lack of control.
During the time when you are regrouping and beginning the process of rebuilding, you MUST have the rest and energy that your body needs to support the transition you are experiencing.
Although this checklist may look short, accomplishing these five initial priorities is not easy.
Divorce leaves us depleted of our strength—our emotional, financial, physical and intellectual strength. By addressing these five core areas, you will begin to establish the foundation on which you will build your new life.
Knowing where you are today will prepare you to create your best tomorrow!
You are not alone, there are many professionals, organizations, and support circles that want to help you to find your inner light and create an extraordinary life. If you have not found them yet, ASK. Ask and you shall receive!
You are bold, beautiful, and brave … you can do anything!
By Laura Campbell, founder of The D Spot