By Wendi Schuller
Author of “The Global Guide To Divorce”
In the early stage of divorce one may be in shock, regardless of who actually filed for it. Having a partner walk out or being the bearer of divorce news is traumatic.
After such a hit, it’s natural to switch into autopilot and simply go through the daily motions of life.
Here are some tips to help get you through the first months of the divorce process:
Don’t face divorce alone
Don’t try being stoic and tough. Gather the troops around you and vent.
I know some people who withdrew from their friends and family after divorce and that left them with feelings of bitterness and anger. They erected walls around themselves, which eventually became permanent.
Maintain contact with your children
One of your lawyer’s first tasks is to set up regular visitation, particularly if your spouse is being uncooperative.
Here are some ways to make sure you stay involved in your kids’ lives: Talk to your kids’ teachers to see how you can volunteer with their classes. Offer to tutor, chaperone field trips or be the muscles needed to hoist up scenery for class plays or school concerts. The kids are proud and it gives extra contact with you.
This also goes for scouts, sports, chess and other activities. The bonus is when custody or shared care is being determined, you are viewed as the involved parent that you are.
It may seem like having fun is frivolous when one’s world is falling apart. It is not.
When snipers were shooting citizens in Lebanon a decade or so ago, folks reported risking bullets to go to cafes, get manicures and so forth. When interviewed, they seemed surprised to be asked why they did not stay put.
Life is about balance. Keeping anger and anxiety bottled up inside can lead to cardiovascular problems and a good laugh can release them. Having a blast with your kids at an amusement park, soccer or other entertainments, is also good for bonding.
Take care of yourself
Eat some nutritional food every day. Take out is fine as long as you grab something other than burgers and pizza.
Living on junk food and beer will sap your energy which is required to get you through the divorce process. If you try to run your vehicle on junk – it will not go far.
You have important decisions to make when dividing assets – so eat protein for your brain. Consult your health care provider for which supplements to add when your diet is dicey.
Focus on your career
Consider making your workplace as your sanctuary away from divorce. Ask your spouse not to contact you on the job. Check your lawyer’s e-mails when you get home unless they’re urgent. Minimize the amount of time spent discussing your divorce with co-workers.
Listen to any great advice given, but do not dwell on the subject of divorce but rather talk about more amusing topics.
Focusing on your job keeps your mind off worries and anxiety.
Cut down on expenses now. Divorce affects finances. Even high earners often have to pay maintenance and child support.
Write down all your expenditures for two weeks. This will enable one to determine what is not necessary and make adjustments to spending.
Take a timeout
It is fine to stop and take a mini-break when feeling overwhelmed during divorce. This pause will help one regroup and calm down.
Go camping with buddies, do mountain climbing or kayaking. Breathing that mountain air, enjoying being out in nature with friends can rejuvenate you.
I took a break in the middle of my acrimonious divorce and went on a cruise with my sons to Tunisia and Turkey.
Seek professional help
Feel free to get professional help when feeling stuck. A session or two with a divorce or life coach can quickly get you back on track.
Make sure you understand your case
Make sure you thoroughly understand the asset split, etc. before you agree to anything.
Take your time making these important decisions and do not let yourself to be rushed. Tell your lawyer that you require more time to ponder your options.
You can have an independent financial advisor look at the assets and make a recommendation. Then discuss this with your lawyer.
I had a gallery owner come to my house and look at our paintings. I used his advice as a guideline when asking for specific artwork.
Divorce has an endpoint and people do get through it.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP). Her most recent book is “The Global Guide to Divorce” and she has over 200 published articles. She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Learn more at her website at globalguidetodivorce.com.