It’s the Catch-22 of getting through a separation and divorce: The things that help the most are often the things that are the most difficult to do.
There’s a difference, however, between something that's difficult and something that's impossible.
Here are a 5 of the top tips that I have collected over 10 years and through helping many people through what is for most can be, at times at least, the overwhelming process of separating and negotiating arrangements for children and a property split.
1. Look after your physical health
Eat a nutritious and balanced diet - it's easy to opt for take-aways and junk food (or wine and no food) when you are feeling low, unmotivated, poor and exhausted. It helps to spend some time at the beginning of the week making a meal plan, shopping and prepping your food to take the pressure off during the week. If funds allow, you may like to try one of the delivery services. I used Hello Fresh recently when I was going through a very stressful few months. Granted, it was slightly more expensive than my weekly evening meal shop but the upside was that it took the hassle out of "What's for dinner?", the meals were nutritious, easy to prepare, I found a whole stack of simple, tasty, new recipes, and it even encouraged my non-chef kids to get into the kitchen. Click here to get $50 off your first delivery box . You can stop, or pause your orders at any time with no penalty. For full disclosure - I will also get $50 off if you do use it, and that would be enough to get me to reactivate my paused account.
Do regular exercise - this is one that I find very difficult. I have never been a disciplined exerciser. I do find though, that whenever I do it, especially when I least feel like it, I feel so much better. If I get it done in the morning, I usually have a far more productive day. If I do it in the evening, I find I sleep better.
Get into a good sleeping routine - when your mind is going crazy with figures, offers, percentage splits, how much it's all going to cost, how you are going to support yourself, pay off debt, feed the kids ... getting a good night's sleep can be a nightmare! I have found the CALM App sleep stories excellent!
2. Get organised
- Create a routine that works for you - do a weekly audit on your time and work out what you are doing that you should do less of, and fill that time with things you should do more of!
- Before you go to see a lawyer, gather all of the documentation they require to give you advice specific to your circumstances at the very first meeting. If you would like assistance with this process and a succinct snapshot of your financial personal and family circumstances to ensure you save time and money in seeking advice or determining the best strategy to move into negotiations or mediations with your ex-partner, I can help you. I offer tailored one-on-one sessions. Call me on 0406 921 129 to see how I can help you.
3. Stay social - but know your limits
- Even though you may not feel like it, try to keep up your contact with friends and family.
- Keep social interactions as much as you can to lighthearted events that don't allow you to focus or discuss too much of the details of your separation. There's a time and a place for sharing your intimate concerns with friends and family, but if that is all they ever get from you, the invitations will start to dry up quickly.
- Don't overindulge in any of your vices, that's a sure-fire recipe to set yourself up for feeling worse about yourself and your situation the following day.
- If you are a parent, remember that your children will also be struggling emotionally with the changes and this will be compounded if they see you upset most of the time and not spending time with them. Try to ensure that you spend quality time with them and that you maintain their social activities and contact with their friends and family.
4. Ask for help
Seeking professional counselling/coaching assistance can be invaluable. Attend your local GP and request a mental health plan. This will allow you at least 6 sessions of reduced rate sessions with a psychologist. Depending on your circumstances, this can often be extended to 10, or during Covid-19 times, even up to 20 sessions.
Call in the offers of help from family and friends.