Counterintuitive Ideas to Bear the Unbearable in Divorce

When you’re in the middle of a divorce, or even just considering one, life can get heavy. So heavy, in fact, that the burden can feel unbearable.

But life moves on. Careers continue. Kids still need their parents. Despair is not an option. Instead, consider these unexpected ways to tackle the challenges ahead.

Give up

…for now. Take a break from the pep talks, the motivational mumbo-jumbo. Give yourself permission to wallow a little and feel your feelings. Just set a time limit on it. Take a walk in nature for three hours but make a deal with yourself that when you get back to civilization, you’ll stop dwelling on the hard stuff.

This is Small

…compared to the big picture. It can be comforting to know that your story, your life, will continue forward. And this is merely one turn in the long road. Remind yourself of that with a good historical documentary or biography or even a novel. Life has many chapters, and this is just one of them.

But, it’s Too Big for You

…alone. This is not the moment to be a lone wolf. Lean on friends and family. Just like you want to be there for friends in need, allow your friends to be there for you. Whether that means rehashing the twists and turns with friends or going out to get your mind off it, friendships are valuable sources of strength at this time. And, no matter what you may think, your friends want to be there for you now. According to a University of Virginia study, friendship actually triggers empathy. That means your friends are hard-wired to notice, understand and share your feelings. You really don’t have to do this alone.

You Can’t

…change the past. No one can. Holding yourself to impossible standards of perfection or wallowing in self-hatred because of past behavior will damage your own self-worth, and can lead to stress and depression. Instead, make plans for the future—the vacation you’ve always dreamed of, a class you were too scared to tackle—the more specific and engrossing the better!

Just Breathe

…and that may be enough for now. Deep breathing is an excellent stress beater and can even lower your blood pressure. If meditation and breathing exercises aren’t a part of your routine, give them a try.

As you beyond divorce, these coping mechanisms can be used time and again. And then, one day, you might discover you don’t need them any more!

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