A divorce might be one of the biggest challenges you have ever faced. Divorce can feel like you are starting from scratch. You might feel stigmatized or like a failure. Your friends and family try to be helpful, but they don’t always understand. As a result, you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. Some days you feel hopeful, while others feel grief and despair. Here are three pointers to help you feel emotionally secure during your divorce.
- Forgive Yourself. Forgive yourself for anything that you are blaming yourself for in your marriage. It can be helpful to look back and learn from your mistakes. However, it needs to be more helpful to be overly responsible. The marriage breakdown would not be all your fault. Divorce is not a failure, even though it feels like it. Sometimes divorce is a brand new start and an opportunity to heal.
- Make space for your feelings. It can be tempting to avoid our feelings because we don’t want to deal with them. However, feelings don’t go away. Our unprocessed emotions can cause us to lash out at others or lower our self-worth. Make space for your feelings by feeling them in your body, being curious about them, and accepting them. Emotions are not bad; they give us information about ourselves and others. They keep us safe. Anger can help motivate and protect us as long as it is not used for revenge or punishment. Grief can remind us that we can turn love inward toward ourselves. Anxiety can be reframed and reworded as excitement.
- Do something just for you every day. Do something to decompress or do something nice for yourself every day. That includes practicing self-compassion. Allow yourself to rest so that exhaustion doesn’t kick in. If you are grieving, only do what is a priority that day.
- Let go of the what-ifs. When going through a divorce, it can be easy to wonder what you lack. You might think that you need to be more pretty or accomplished. You might wonder what might have happened if only you had done more. Let go of the negative what-if thoughts because they will only harm your confidence. You are enough just the way you are. If you feel that you need to work on your conflict style, self-worth, or past trauma, now is an opportunity to heal.
- Appreciate yourself and those around you. Divorce is heavy. You might feel like avoiding others because of the embarrassment. However, your family and friends want to hear what you are going through. Being vulnerable with them can lead to closer relationships. Appreciate those who have stuck by your side. Appreciate yourself for all that you have overcome. Remembering your wins will help build your confidence. Focusing on your losses will bring your self-worth down. Be kind to yourself.
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