Dealing with Divorce Overwhelm
Dealing with divorce overwhelm is crucial to making it through. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to talk yourself out of it. It’s easy to carry on in an unhappy or on safe marriage. Recognising now, that even if divorce is your idea, at some point you’ll feel overwhelmed, you give yourself the opportunity to put strategies in place to minimise the effects of that overwhelm. So what can you do?
Planning ahead for overwhelm might sound crazy! But is it really? During the winter, when it’s snowing, you put a shovel in the car boot. You might pack a blanket and you might take a flask of coffee. Why? Because there’s a chance you’ll get caught in the storm. So you want to be prepared don’t you? You’re just being smart. Right?
When you look it like that, you’ll notice that planning ahead for divorce overwhelm is smart. You see, when you’re in that overwhelm, when you’re not in your best state, making sensible and rational decisions will be harder, so imagine, having already prepared yourself so you can just take action, without having to think too much about it. Without that pressure on yourself, isn’t it also likely, that you may even avoid serious overwhelm altogether. So what kind of things should you plan ahead? Well, how about anything everything that’s important do you?
One of your biggest concerns if you have them, is likely to be your children. You’ll worry about how they cope with your separation, how it affect their schoolwork, how it will affect their social lives, relationships with grandparents and their general physical and mental health well-being. So think about what the children love doing, who they love spending time with and who they confide in. Put plans in place so that the children regularly get to spend time doing the things they love with the people they love and in particular, spending time with the people that they confide in. Believing that you can do it all yourself put massive pressure on you. Giving the children space from you and the situation at home has the positive affect of giving you space from them. It allows you to see them happy, knowing that their emotional needs are being met, and it gives you time to have space for yourself. A real win:win.
Second to worrying about the children, it is likely your next concern will be about money. Dealing with your finances on divorce can be overwhelming, particularly if you are not usually the person in the relationship who deals with money. You know that you are going to have to get clued up about this, so start sooner rather than later. You see, the more you worry about not understanding finances, the bigger deal it will become. So take one aspect your finances at a time and deal with that. It might be, that you get the house valued first. The next think you might do, is look at the current accounts. Then you might look at the savings accounts if you have them, and then you might look at your credit cards and loans for example. By doing this sooner rather than later, you prevent overwhelm, because when you are asked either by your lawyer or the court for financial disclosure, you’ll be in control and ready.
It’s easy to put everyone and everything ahead of yourself when you’re getting divorced. You might think that you don’t have time to look after yourself, but I invite you to make yourself a priority from the get-go. That might be something that you haven’t done before. It may feel completely alien, and if you want to manage your divorce as a calm confident woman who is in control and you want to be the best mother but you can, you owe it to your children and to yourself to ensure that you take care of yourself first.
Taking care of yourself first might mean asking other people for support. For example, looking after the children whilst you take exercise or visit the spa for a massage. Again, that might feel alien and selfish, and it’s absolutely the right thing to do because you are looking after you. Getting overwhelmed and stressed will not support you or the children. Getting overwhelmed and stressed is likely to make your divorce take longer and cost you more money, so accept from the start, the support of other people. Remember, just like you would, they will feel good supporting you, so by allowing them to help you, you are giving them a gift.
Ensure that you get enough sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we are never at our best emotionally. We can become irrational and unable to make decisions. If you need to sleep, sleep. The more rested you can be, the more likely it is you avoid overwhelm and you’ll feel better able to handle conflict and disagreements with your husband or his lawyers.
Make exercise an important part of your routine. This might mean that you join a gym if you’re not already a member, but it could be they just make it a priority to go out for walks. Exercise increases the production of endorphins our feel-good hormones. This will help with anxiety, stress and depression.
Prevention is better than cure
Prevention of overwhelm is better than cure, this is why planning ahead can really help you. But if you are already in the midst of overwhelm, all is not lost. Recognise that you are overwhelmed. What are other signs of overwhelm?
- Feeling stressed.
- Feeling unable to cope.
- Questioning your decisions.
- Feeling unable to decide.
- Feeling angry.
- Feeling tearful.
- Wanting to hide.
- Lacking motivation.
- Lack of self-care.
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s likely that you’re beginning to feel, or you already are, overwhelmed. If that’s you, consider one small thing that you can do now to support yourself. It might be that you put the children to bed early, than a hot bath and have an early night. It might be that you asked to support from a family member, a friend, your doctor, or a coach. It doesn’t matter who you ask just so long as you feel comfortable being open and honest with them and you feel that you’ll get supported by them.
Above all, remember that divorce is just process. It doesn’t last forever. Remember too, that there is no shame in struggling emotionally with divorce. Even if divorce is your idea, it’s never easy. The smart woman remembers that and she doesn’t try to do it all by herself.
I’m Emma the Divorce Alchemist and I support Ladies who Leave make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. If you haven’t yet received your copy, you can download the Smart woman divorce guide by putting your details and the box below.