5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce
If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are five things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce?
My advice to anyone who asks me how to survive and thrive through divorce starts here. First, you are not alone. Divorce is not new. Divorce has been around for a very long time. The first recorded divorce in the US was in 1643 between Anne and Denis Clarke of Massachusetts. The Patriots of freedom in a very different way. Not much about divorce as changed in 380 years. The pain and process are much the same now as it was centuries ago. I founded Better Divorce Academy and Better Divorce Blueprint due to my own harrowing experience to help others shift their thinking and preparation to survive and heal after their ordeal. I believe that divorce isn’t just an end of a committed relationship but a new fresh beginning to create the next chapter of life they desire. As difficult as it is, I believe divorce is a new start, a new life, and freedom. Freedom from past failures. Freedom from old patterns and dysfunctional relationships. Freedom from pain, judgment and limiting beliefs. The old way is just that OLD, exhausting, expensive and shaming. People believe this is normal. What causes people to struggle and think that this is acceptable? Tradition? History? After 380 years, divorce needs to modernize and change.
Here are a few of my tips, tools and skills you will benefit from when contemplating, surviving and ultimately thriving after divorce.
1. Take the process Seriously: I didn’t take the divorce process as seriously as I should have. I surrendered and trusted the strategy that all would come out right in the end. I should have taken a lot more time to clear my head, focus, and know what I was doing. Here is where to begin.
A. Get in control of your emotions (using 60 seconds of the optimal breath cycle. Inhale for 5 seconds, then exhale for 5 seconds and repeat five more times.) This process will slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to slow the fear response.
B. Get off social media (literally delete every account)
C. Create boundaries (learn to say NO)
D. Gain strength and confidence (plank pose for 60 seconds a day)
E. Do your research and learn the facts. (google, read, inquire friends)
F. Know the laws in your state (interview attorneys as needed)
G. Create a budget to gain a financial snapshot of needs
H. Do not self medicate/escape (alcohol, RX, shopping, sex, gossip, etc.)
2. Find Your Lost Voice: This is the beginning of the next chapter of your life. It takes courage muscles to speak and communicate mainly in times of high stress, conflict and exhaustion. I made the mistake of staying quiet and pretending I was “fine.” If your soul tells you you are not safe, supported, unconditionally loved or respected, listen and find your voice to communicate your needs.
A. Focus on yourself not your EX. What are you responsible for?
B. Process Change (everything will change and look and feel different. Don’t pretend it will be the same)
C. Learn to make adjustments and evaluate what is working and what is not!
D. Step into your power. What can you control? (hint: your words, actions, and reactions)
E. Be the person you want to be. Be your best self.
F. Let go of victimhood/blame.
G. Resist gossip. Do not participate in any story. Silence is best when you are tempted to talk about others.
H. Create a healthy routine (Keep it simple/divorce requires stamina)
I. Stock up on self-care. Rest, Nutrition and Detoxification.
K. Recognize and know “Deal Breakers” (Abuse, Addiction, Affairs, Alienation)
3. Don’t Go It Alone: Yes, you have family and friends to support you but they come with their plan and opinions that may or may not be in your best interest. What was good for Aunt Mary may not be best for you. It is best to separate moral support from professional advice.
Build a Team: but remember, attorneys are not therapists. Please don’t use them as such. It could cost you thousands if you do. Learn every member of your possible team. You may not need everyone on this list is you do not own property, have children or have your own business. I can not stress enough the necessity of having a coach to guide, advise, support and inform you every step of the way. Athletes always have a coach and so should you.
Be sure you choose and connect with professionals you relate to and keep searching until you find an excellent fit to meet your needs. Just because they were referred to you or found them in a Google search does not mean they are a good match for you to build your team.
Here are the categories to consider as you begin to build your team.
- Coach- CDC, CDS
- Finance- CDFA, CDFE
- Law- Family Law Attorney, Custody Attorney
- Taxes- CPA with knowledge of divorce
- Insurance- Life, Real Estate, etc
- Real Estate- CDRE, REDS
- Mortgage- CDLP
- Mental Health- Counselors, Therapists, Parenting Experts
- Wellness- Fitness Experts, Nutritionists, E-RYT500
- Medical-MD’s, Chiropractic, etc
4. Learn To Manage Your Emotions Effectively:
Being aware of your emotions will help you empathize with others going through similar situations and give you hope.
Emotions exist to alert you to ways that you are hindering progress or self-sabotaging. Feelings show you opportunities to change your thinking and habits in ways that offer you greater happiness and an empowered perspective. To help you live in a manner that honors your most essential values, align with your vision for your best life.
Use these tools to enhance your emotional well-being. It would be best if you remembered the big picture. As important as it is to be responsible for your own emotions, it is also important to NOT take on others’ feelings!
When we don’t take responsibility for our own emotions and take on others’ feelings, we often use unhealthy and habituated coping mechanisms to mask our inability to handle our emotions or those of others.
A. Face your emotions. Avoid hiding from them. The more you practice, the easier it will become to remain at peace during emotional situations.
B. If you’re brokenhearted, it isn’t healthy to pretend otherwise. Allow the emotional responses to come. If you feel like crying or screaming, it’s ok to do it. (not in court, in front of your children or your spouse) It will help you release negativity and gain a fuller awareness of your feelings.
C. Once you can vent your emotions, you can then reinterpret your problematic situation in a manner that empowers you. Look for the good in everything and remind yourself that ALL is good and every challenge is there for your increased wisdom and development. What lesson are you learning?
D. It isn’t necessary to over-analyze why you’re feeling a certain way. Can you locate the source of the emotion and work at processing it instead? Ask yourself, “What do I need to see so this lesson can serve me?” and “Who am I being that is invoking this situation showing up around me now? Avoid apologizing for your emotions. Know that your emotions serve as the big red flags telling you what new thinking, actions, or learning are for you.
E. Celebrate your strengths. There’s no better way to build self-acceptance than by celebrating your strengths. Identify your qualities, talents, and skills that make you feel confident. Remind yourself of how resilient and mighty you are. All too often, we are accustomed to focusing on our flaws – but often overlook our strengths. Acknowledge yourself daily for your courage, commitment, and willingness to take on personal development to be the best you can be.
F. Don’t brush your strengths aside. They form your backbone. Create a list of qualities you wish to build your future. Take on the process of consciously developing and mastering each one daily. Ask yourself, if I were more (quality), what would I think, do, or say to demonstrate that quality and project it to the world? G. Openly acknowledging your strengths helps you subconsciously believe in yourself. In turn, you develop a positive emotional state. In your journal, create a list of your current strengths. Acknowledge yourself for each one. Ask yourself, “How can I develop each strength further with a specific course of action?”
H. Offer emotional support to others. Supporting others helps you work better with your support team. Assisting others to process their emotions helps you to better process your own. It allows you to be unbiased, fair, and just. As you learn to recognize the ways others fail to perceive life in a way that supports them, you will gain more significant insights into how you can do the same in your own life.
I. When you support others, you are present and straightforward and honest. Recognizing misperceptions in someone else’s emotions can help you realize the same misperceptions on your own. We tend to notice the same flaws in others that we see in ourselves. Immerse yourself in personal development, look to champion others to be more confident, and increase your confidence.
J. Helping others work through challenges can help you appreciate their different emotions and, at the same time, build up your emotional well-being. Support others to separate the facts from the interpretations they made up or bought into that don’t support them. As you help others release their negative emotions based on the ways they view situations in self-defeating patterns, you will gain greater insight into how to view your difficult situations from a more empowering perspective.
K. Surround yourself with positivity. Maintaining a positive environment is vital to your growth. It helps you focus on positive emotions and enhances the healing process. It’s much easier to effectively manage your feelings when you’re surrounded by positive energy.
L. Catch yourself in negative self-talk. Be willing to release negative thoughts and immediately replace them with empowering, positive thoughts or associations.
M.Engage in activities you enjoy. Not to avoid your emotions but as a tool for developing a positive mindset. As you become more positive, you will develop the tendency to see things in a positive rather than a negative light. Realize that every challenge is there for your personal development, allowing you to grow in self- confidence and emotional resilience.
N. Your commitment to a positive mindset reinforces your ability to be impartial and fair. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when negative influences surround you. Give up being drawn into other people’s stuff. Refuse to take on their negative interpretations. Remember that only you can destroy your self-confidence and only you can restore it. Become a student of personal development and allow every problematic person or situation to become your teacher. Know that each challenge will enable you to grow in wisdom, empathy and self-confidence.
5. Your newfound freedom is a blessing and a responsibility. Freedom must be respected and nurtured. Divorce is not an excuse to have your second or third try at adolescence. The mid-life crisis is usually unattractive. Enjoy it, savor it and appreciate it.
A. Take time for your life; don’t squander it
B. Practice Patience every chance you get
C. Respect for self and others
D. Peace with the process of growth, healing and recovery
E. Stand tall in your values
F. Forgiveness for self and others
G. Don’t stop moving forward
H. Celebrate every small win
I. Learn to feel safe and trust your inner voices to protect you from repeating the past
J. Believe your future is vibrant and joyful