by Prudence Henschke, certified divorce coach
Getting out of bed and making it through the day can take all your energy when you are going through a break-up. The stress and overwhelm can be all consuming and so thinking beyond that, about what you logically should be doing, ends up in the too hard basket. At the same time, not getting the help and support you need, can made matters even worse.
Here are a few ideas of ways you can help yourself as you navigate those first weeks and months, after the end of a relationship.
1 // Prioritise taking care of yourself
Finding time for self-care is difficult for all mums, but at a time when stress levels are at an all-time high, making sure you are looking after yourself is crucial. Find or re-discover what makes you feel good and build it into your days. Self-care doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive – a quiet cup of tea, a good laugh with a friend or a soak in the tub are all good for the soul. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will put you in the best possible position to cope with the more trying days.
2 // Reach out for support
Now is the time to call on friends and family for help, both with emotional and practical support. A sympathetic ear, a few hours of babysitting, a pair of hands to help with odd jobs around the house – ask for help and accept offers when they come your way. Outside your family and friendship circle, there are community groups on and offline, counsellors, divorce coaches and financial advisors, available to support you. You don’t need to do this on your own.
3 // Take the time to get clear on your values and priorities
In the emotional turmoil of a separation it’s easy to lose sight of your values and priorities. Getting clear on your values can help guide your decision making – from little things like whether you should reallysend that text, to bigger things like negotiating over the division of your assets. Also, reflecting on your overall priorities and goals can give you a measure against which to assess your decisions. For example, if your main priority is minimising conflict and moving on quickly, you can come back to this, as you navigate your break up journey, to feel confident the choices you are making are in alignment.
4 // Seek legal advice early
If you are reluctant to get legal advice – you aren’t alone. It’s common to put off going to a lawyer or avoid seeing one altogether. But, even if it’s a just a one-off appointment, it might be the best money you ever spend if it can give you clarity around the process, your rights and responsibilities and options for moving forward. It can also help protect you against making any costly mistakes, which sometimes can’t be undone. I have worked with many clients who are stressing about things which, with some proper, legal advice they could simply move past.
5 // Learn from others experience
Although it may feel like you are the only one who has ever been in your position, there are many who have trodden the path before you, and there is so much you can learn from their experience (good and bad). There are incredible books, articles, blogs, podcasts and apps out there (often created by people who wish they had the [insert amazing resource] when they were going through it).
You might also like: 6 easy (non-beauty) ways to indulge in self-care, 5 inspiring mamas to help you kickstart the week, and We’re throwing in the 9-to-5 for life on the road with a 1-year-old.