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Strategies for Thriving During and After Divorce

In a world where change is constant and uncertainty seems to lurk around every corner, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

From global news to rapid technological advancements, the pace of change can sometimes feel dizzying. When you’re going through a big personal transformation like a divorce this can feel even worse! Amidst the chaos, there are ways to not only survive, but to thrive in your ever-changing landscape. Here are my 7 go to strategies to help you navigate uncertainty during and after your divorce and to support you to embrace the big changes you’re experiencing.

1. Cultivate Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a hard experience. Training yourself to be resilient involves developing a mindset that allows you to adapt to change and overcome challenges. I find the most helpful way is by practicing mindfulness by staying present in the moment. Focus on today rather than worrying about what’s going to happen to you next year. Take it step by step, day by day. This present focus will help you better cope with whatever comes your way and you’ll see your progress which will also help build your confidence in your ability to cope.

2. Embrace Flexibility

During a divorce, your world is rapidly changing, so staying flexible is key managing your stress. It’s instinctual to cling to rigid plans or expectations, AND it’s really important for your mental health to be open to new ideas, perspectives, and opportunities. Change will happen regardless of your attitude about it. Embracing flexibility allows you to make the most of unexpected changes. Not to state a platitude, but, yes, look for those silver linings!
This is a time of transformative change for you and your family. It will help to frame whatever you can to the positive! Although these changes feel awful at times, you will have opportunities to make new friends, learn new parenting techniques, discover a hobby or activity that you never thought you’d enjoy, and become connected to your children in a new way, all because you have had a big shift in your life. You’ve been pushed toward something new. Instead of saying no, say yes to it and give it a try!

3. Seek Continuous Learning

When your family configuration has completely changed – you’re in a new house, your routines are new- you can feel overwhelmed, sad and have many emotions come up. AND it’s also ok to feel excited and focus on what you can learn from your new circumstances. In fact, try to dig into some feelings of positive anticipation for the new if you can by viewing learning as a lifelong journey. Seek out opportunities for growth and development, whether it’s through formal education, online courses, or simply learning and self-reflecting on your experiences. Learning new things is great for your brain and your mental health.

4. Build a Strong Support Network

When you’re going through a divorce or separation, having a strong support network can make all the difference. Surround yourself with friends, family, and mentors who uplift and inspire you. Instead of sinking into alone time and isolating yourself, lean in to socializing. It may not feel comfortable, but awkward is ok. Lean on your social networks for guidance, encouragement, and support when faced with challenges.

5. Focus on What You Can Control

It’s natural to feel anxious about things beyond your control AND it’s important to focus on what you can control to help alleviate stress. Instead of dwelling on external circumstances that you can’t control, channel your energy into actions that are within your power. In the early stages that may entail keeping your house clean, planning what to have for dinner, and what you’ll do with your kids when they’re with you, but as time marches on, putting your energy into thinking about your own goals will leave you feeling empowered to move forward.

6. Practice Self-Compassion

When you think about your separation or divorce, it’s easy to be hard on yourself.
Practicing self-compassion is crucial for maintaining your well-being. Be kind to yourself! Treat yourself with the same level of kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation. Imagine what you would say to your friend or family member. How would you talk to them? Do that for yourself. You are worthy of love and kindness.

7. Find Meaning and Purpose

Divorce and separation can make you feel like you’re lost your grounding. Your life is completely different. You may be in a new home, your kids may not be with you as much as they were before, and you’re trying to find a new rhythm. Finding meaning and purpose provides a sense of stability and direction. Take the time to reflect on what matters to you and direct your energies towards that.

Navigating divorce and separation is daunting! It’s also an opportunity for growth and transformation. Check in with yourself in a concrete way (for example, journaling, sharing with a friend, vision boarding etc.) about how you can apply these 7 tools to your life. Change feels both exciting and hard, especially when it’s not something you anticipated or chose for yourself. Even if it was your chosen path, it can feel lonely and challenging. However, you can not only survive, but thrive in your new circumstances. So, embrace the journey, and remember that with the right mindset and strategies, you can weather any storm that comes your way.

ByJoselin Corrigan

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