Save your sanity during divorce? Is that possible? Yes, and it’s inexpensive, too.
Yesterday, I recommended Sticky Note Therapy to a client navigating divorce. “Buy some sticky notes (Post-it notes). Get a color you love. Write compelling, nurturing, and uplifting messages on them. Plaster them all over your house, your garage, your car, your bike, your office. Stick one on your wallet. Fasten one to the back of your phone.”
Why? Your brain believes everything you tell it. That means each time you read, hear, or say anything – especially messages to yourself – your brain believes it. All the good, the bad, and the ugly stuff streaming into your head – your brain buys it all until proven otherwise. I don’t need to remind you about the constant flow of depressing events in the news every day. Facebook, TV, radio, Internet – all of them are dominated by sadness and tragedy. Down we go with it, and slide even further down the slippery slope of overwhelming divorce emotions.
What’s making you crazy? Your ex is dragging his/her heels, demanding ridiculous solutions to your settlement? The kids are acting out, and your proposed child custody isn’t fair? Your fear of losing your house and financial security eats away at you each night at 3 a.m.? The list is endless, yes? Your mental balance, your sanity, is jeopardized at every turn.
Let’s face it. Divorce can be mighty threatening and scary. You need to hear good news.
Try sticky notes.
It started for me by accident. In my own divorce, I blasted Janice Joplin singing “Me and My Bobby McGee” while I walked around my empty house yelling out the words at the top of my lungs, tears running down my cheeks, in a desperate attempt to drown out my misery. “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose!” One day, I put it on a sticky note on my bathroom mirror. I felt better when I looked at it. Next came Mic Jagger with “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes, you get what you need.” Shortly thereafter came, “He had it comin! He had it comin’ all along!” from Chicago. As I read my inspirational books, I’d grab a quip and put it on the wall: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Then, I added my own: “Yes I can. Of course I can!” and “Forward”. Soon the whole house was a sea of sticky notes.
Honestly, I think they saved my life. Everywhere I looked, they popped out at me. Who cared if my house looked like a pocked-marked bulletin board? It fed my brain thoughts that made me smile. I needed to smile.
When your sanity is at stake, stick those notes wherever you look. For me, Sticky Note Therapy falls into these categories:
- Reminder of who you are. (“What would my mother tell me?”)
- Inspiration to keep you moving. (“What would I be doing if I weren’t sad.”)
- Memo to keep your sense of humor. (Cookie Monster quote: “Today we will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant, in which case we will eat a cookie.”)
- Suggestion to calm you down. (“Three deep breaths. Slow and long. Ahhh.”)
- Cue to start humming your favorite divorce song. (“I did it my way!” – Frank Sinatra or “Let the Sunshine In” – The Fifth Dimension) (PS. Cry if you feel it. It’s good for you.)