Whether you are in the midst of a significant relationship separation or in a stage of divorce, it may feel like a series of starts and stops – a kind of maze where you can run into more walls than paths that lead you forward.
How you handle your separation and divorce is primarily determined by your state of mind involving either a positive or negative outlook. Moving more quickly and successfully through your maze will make all the difference in your need to move toward a better, happier future.
Here are 15 Ways You Can Work Through Your Separation and Divorce:
1. If you haven’t, start envisioning what you want in your future. Imagine yourself turning the corner. Create a mental or an actual picture board with words and quotes that will help you know your life can be happy and rewarding. Create a roadmap of how you can achieve that new life.
2. Surround yourself with positive people (rather than those who are judgmental or negative). They can be friends, family, and co-workers. Also, make new connections by joining new social groups, volunteering or getting involved in church activities.
3. Establish a relationship with professionals and others who can also be helpful including a counselor, pastor, divorce coach, and perhaps join a support group in your community. These resources will serve as objective listeners and voices since they don’t have a stake in your life.
4. If you have children, talk to them and let them know you are there for them. Reassure them that although life is changing or has changed, you will all be okay.
5. Get organized especially with your finances. Certified Divorce Financial Analysts are professionals who specialize in divorce issues. You can find one who can assist you at www.institutedfa.com/find-a-cdfa. Look around and interview more than one. Know they are not inexpensive but can save you financial regret.
6. Don’t stagnate. Pursue interests that you have never really explored or find new ones. Meetup.com is an excellent source for groups with specialized interests and many are even purely social. Getting out and getting involved will prove highly rewarding as you move forward.
7. Exercise 3-5 times a week. Join a gym. It can be a mood lifter and will help you look and feel your best and will meet new people.
8. Be kind to yourself. Avoid focusing on regret and the past and just imagine yourself in your best future to come.
9. Whatever stage you are at in your separation or divorce, be kind. Don’t speak badly of your partner and do speak civilly to him or her even if it isn’t deserved. Anger and animosity and a failure to give and take will only cause more problems. If you are in the midst of the divorce process, it can prolong the inevitable and cost more in time and legal fees. (Mediators and arbitrators can also be of help if you and your partner can’t agree on settlement terms.)
10. Look for a balance between your personal, social and professional lives. Avoid alienating yourself. Avoid getting involved with someone else before you’ve had a chance to get your head clear. Avoid throwing yourself into your job at the expense of neglecting your personal and social life.
11. Write. If feelings well up in you as they likely will, expressing them in a journal can be very healing.
12. Make sure you move forward each day even if these are baby steps. Be patient, but steady.
13. Get on track If you need to find a way to support or help support yourself and your family. Contact a local career services center that can help you find the right job for you or help you retrain for one.
14. Set goals daily, weekly and monthly. Make sure they are written down. This will help you keep moving forward. List three categories, one each for personal, social and professional goals. Make sure you’re establishing reasonable goals and check them off as you achieve them which is rewarding in itself.
15. Find your peace in solitary moments. Meditate, pray, read inspirational books, walk, take in nature.
Although these 15 suggestions do not make up a complete list of ways to more easily and successfully work through the maze of separation and divorce, if you can accomplish them, you are heading for a happier future.