18 May How to survive divorce – The 7 secrets you MUST know
It’s great to see Anthea Turner talking openly about her divorce today. I believe that the fastest way to banish the stigma surrounding divorce is get more people to speak out about their own experiences. The truth is that there is now specific help to enable you to cope better with your break-up and you don’t need to suffer in silence. You can now:
- Banish the heartbreak
- Diminish the effect conflict has on you
- Take control back over the negative emotions
- Cope with betrayal
- Boost your self -esteem
- Create a light at the end of the tunnel
- Feel better and start to laugh again
When I went through my own divorce I felt as if the world had ended. I felt like I was strapped onto a rollercoaster ride of negative emotions that never stopped. I oscillated hour to hour between despair, overwhelm, hurt, panic, betrayal, fear, loneliness and confusion. I lost my husband, the father of my son, my best friend and business partner in one fell swoop. Overnight I became a single parent to my son who was only one year old. And I had to watch as my husband moved on happily with a new partner, madly in love whilst my world was in tatters.
I searched for information to help me cope and find a way forward. I had been life and business coaching at this point for over 15 years and I knew that I could change the way I was feeling, although I was at rock bottom and struggling to deal with the enormity of the life changes I was suddenly facing. I couldn’t find anything that was really relevant to what I was going to or that helped me make any constructive changes. So out of desperation I decided to combine my coaching skills with my divorce experience to create some techniques to help me move forward.
I’m not saying that this is easy to do, in fact there will be moments when you want to crawl under the duvet and not come out for days. But one thing I have learnt it that this is TOTALLY NORMAL! It will be two steps forward and one step back at times. You will feel like you can cope better on some days more than others. However, by using some small and simple tools you can start to make the better days more frequent and actually speed up your recovery process.
The 7 secrets to surviving divorce:
- Create your Break-Up Survival Team – surround yourself with positive and loving friends and family. Take care to avoid ‘energy vampires’ who end up leaving you feel drained and even more anxious. Choose your team carefully as who you spend time with does have a direct impact on how you feel.
- Let your emotions out. ‘Stuffing’ your emotions and avoiding them will prolong your recovery process. So, find different ways to release those negative emotions such as exercising – a boxercise class will help with anger and a brisk walk around the block will boost your spirits. Remember that it’s ok to cry and part of your healing process.
- Plan to do things you enjoy. It’s important to get out of the house and spend time doing things that make you smile again. They can be as small as a coffee in a lovely café to something bigger such as going on a trip to somewhere warm and sunny.
- Make small changes to your daily routine. If you carry on doing the same things you did with your ex then you will constantly be reminded that they are no longer with you. So, shake things up and use a different supermarket, cook different meals, drive a new way to work or try out a new restaurant.
- Remove the rose-tinted glasses. So many of us reminisce about the good times we shared with our ex and totally forget the annoying or frustrating issues that you had. Write a list of all the things that you didn’t like and that didn’t make you happy about your ex that you no longer have to tolerate. Keep this list to hand and focus on it when you start to miss your ex.
- Move your furniture around in your home. It sounds weird but if you are still living in the marital home then it’s a simple and easy way to change the look and feel of a room. If your ex used to sit in a certain chair then move it or cover it with a new material so it’s different. You will be surprised at how small changes can have a big impact and give your home a fresh new feel.
- Rediscover your identity now you are single. Have a think about what you love to do and what makes your tick. All too often this gets lost in a relationship as we have to make compromises to ensure things run smoothly. We become co-dependent on our ex and lose our individuality. Write a list of all the things that you used to do and have not done in a long time but would love to take up again. Getting back in touch with who you are as an individual will give your confidence a huge boost.
These are just some of the things you can do to start to feel better and get control back of your life. I know how overwhelming it can be at the beginning when all your emotions are so raw and you are coming to terms with the shock. Take small steps every day and it does get better with time and by using the above techniques.
Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can come together, even though it’s impossible to see at the time. Divorce is a chance to redesign your life just the way you want it. We only live once so focus your energy on making it a good one!
For daily advice follow Sara on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. www.saradavison.com.