Fear, stress, anxiety and divorce are all interconnected and often seem inseparable. Fear of the unknown is scary and gets complicated when you factor in children, money, living arrangements, the divorce process and dealing with your soon to be ex. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and want to pull back and shut down. You can gain control over your thinking and actions and I think this is the strategy that will help you break this pattern.
Have you ever felt like you take two steps forward and three steps back? Divorce can be a difficult complicated process under the best of circumstances. It is possible to move beyond survive, embrace your new life and thrive! This does not involve ignoring your feelings or burying your head in the sand.
You may be wondering how exactly do you accomplish this? Here is a simple strategy to get you started.
Write your goals down, keep them simple and make sure your daily activities are aligned with your goals. Taking action creates progress and builds momentum. This improves mood and breaks inertia.
Why is it necessary to write your goals down?
- It helps you define what they are.
- It provides a starting point to measure your progress.
- Specific written goals provide structure and accountability.
Goals must be measurable, specific and achievable. It is much better to start small and build on your success than to set the bar too high and fall short. Getting started is often where people fall short. If one of your goals was to de-clutter your house, start small. You could clear and organize a shelf in the closet or go through one or two drawers in the dresser. This specific action will give you a sense of accomplishment and pave the way for future progress. Give it a try and see for yourself. Then celebrate your success and have some fun. You deserve it.
Keep in mind you do not have a monopoly on fear stress and anxiety and while you may feel alone you are not! There are many resources available to help and they are worth considering. This website is a great example and I encourage you to explore it and see for yourself.
Remember, much of what we worry about never comes to pass. One tool I really find effective in interrupting this common negative thinking pattern is using a few cleansing breaths. Take a deep breath in, think about something you are grateful for, hold for a few seconds, and let the breath out slowly through your mouth. This allows your body to relax, lowers stress and circulates oxygen thorough your body. Give it a try. I think you will like it.
Robert M Bilsker, M.S. CDC
Certified Divorce Coach