Often we’re so focused on financially having things together for the divorce process, but overlook how to get through divorce emotionally.
Building self-confidence can sometimes feel impossible during a difficult time. It’s especially true when you’re looking to come out the other end of a long term relationship.
Oftentimes we spend so much time taking care of others that we forget we deserve time for ourselves and to properly go through the grieving process. And how can you expect people to be there for you if you are not going to be there for yourself?
Take these small steps today to build self-confidence and lift yourself up as you deal with the pain of divorce. It might not feel like it’s working instantly, but with time you will get there!
1. Set Goals To Work Towards
It’s easy to find yourself dwelling on the past as you move through the different emotional stages of divorce.
Instead of living in the past, focus on the future by setting goals to aspire to. Spend some time figuring out what you really want out of life and work towards achieving that.
You’ll wake each morning with a renewed sense of purpose and greater motivation to create a better life for yourself.
2. Surround yourself with good people
One of the best pieces of advice I received when navigating how to get through divorce emotionally myself was to not try and do it alone. It’s a much easier process when you have a trusted person – or persons – to share with.
Maybe I’m biased, but a good divorce coach can help. Coaches will help you with all aspects of getting ready for and moving through separation. However, one of the key elements is having that support person who can guide you on your next steps financially, emotionally and spiritually.
Look at your friend and family network to see who gives you energy. Those who:
- invigorate you,
- fill you with ideas and
- see the glass as half full
will change the way you view your divorce experience.
When surrounded by people who:
- take your energy,
- pull your mood down or
- have you doubting yourself,
it creates an additional layer of emotional stress you don’t need during this time.
That’s not to say you always have to be positive. We all have moments when we need to share our fears and doubts with a trusted friend or mentor. But having someone who cheers you on and encourages you to keep going will ensure you better manage your transition into a new life.
3. Watch your self talk
Sometimes the negativity that surrounds us is not from other people, but rather ourselves. Being aware of the message we’re giving ourselves is important, so we can shift our self talk to more positive outlook.
It’s so easy to dwell on the negatives when life feels challenging, but you can still find good in every day. Something that helps me is keeping a journal. I encourage you to start a daily journal practice where you write down at least three good things that happened that day. You can grab a copy of Living An Intentional Life: Gratitude Journal to guide you.
At first, you may struggle. But over time you’ll find your list getting longer each day. When we look for the positive, we attract more positive things into our world. This puts you on an upward spiral.
Divorce can also wreak havoc with our self worth. Another exercise is to make a list of positive things about yourself. You don’t have to share this with anyone else, so don’t be shy. Or you could literally speak kindly to yourself. Examples include:
- I love myself
- I believe in myself
- I appreciate myself
- I will not give up on myself
Start listening to what you’re saying to yourself and challenge your self talk. Ask questions like: Is there evidence that this belief is true? Is there evidence that disputes this belief?
4. Be aware of emotional triggers
If you don’t have a great relationship with your ex partner, it’s important to know how to cope with the pain of divorce. One of the keys things I learned when trying to understand how to get through divorce emotionally was not to get into power struggles with your former partner.
When you have an awareness of the arguments that often happen or what topics trigger an emotional response, you can better plan a strategy to deal with them.
For others who have an amicable divorce, it may be the elements of the divorce process that create tension or stress for you. Who do you have in your corner to help you find the right solutions.
5. Find an interest or passion to indulge in
You might be wondering what an interest or passion project has to do with divorce. Well, a lot, really.
When you’re going through a particularly emotional period, you can be consumed by that thing. When the process of divorce creates negative emotions, you begin to wallow in negativity.
Finding something you love will give you a mental break from the actual divorce and ensures you’re focusing on positive things in your life. It will help your mental health, your problem-solving skills during each aspect of the separation, and transition more easily through each of the stages of grief from divorce.
A major life event like separation doesn’t mean your life has to be on hold.
6. Take care of yourself
Let me guess… when you look at the list of who’s taken care of and when, you’re right down the bottom, right? You’re not alone in that. We often put others’ needs and feelings above our own. By the time it comes to taking care of ourselves, there’s little left in the tank to give.
When you’re looking at how to get through a divorce emotionally, one of the keys to its success is to look after yourself. There’s a great quote from Katie Reed about how “self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”.
Self care comes in all forms. What you deem self care can be different to someone else. Self care examples include going for a walk, doing yoga, reading a book, taking time to enjoy a cup of tea, riding a bike and meditation. These are great for coping with stress.
Self care includes emotionally and physically taking care of yourself. Your physically will have an impact on you emotionally and mentally, so find a way to move your body every day.
Now you know how to get through divorce emotionally…
Now you know “what” to do, it’s time to take action. Be OK with the fact that you don’t have to feel what others feel. That some days will be harder than others. And that some days your support network will be there and others times they may be dealing with their own challenges.
If you’re looking for a daily directive guide to keeping your mind on what you do want, and off of the rest!, then Living An Intentional Life Gratitude Journal is a great start. This is a journal that will help you recreate your miraculous transformation along with keeping you focused on daily gratitude and tasks to accomplish.