Do you ever feel all tangled up on the inside and don’t know in which direction to turn?
Or maybe you feel that you’re stuck in quicksand and it’s taking all your effort to just make it through each day?
Or worse, you feel that you’re wearing a choke-chain of all your responsibilities and don’t really know who you are anymore?
Don’t worry. I’ve been there. In fact, everyone I know who has been through divorce has been there too. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re dealing with divorce. Overwhelm can be hard to overcome and yet it’s a common part of divorce. Knowing how to get through it or stop it all together is a critical skill to develop as you’re dealing with divorce. What I’m going to share with you today are some of the techniques I regularly use with myself, my family and my clients when things start to feel overwhelming.
1. Change your story.
When I was finding my way through the aftermath of my divorce, I used to tell myself really scary stories. They were stories of doom and I told them over and over again – like a broken recording. I was feeling overwhelmed and the stories I told myself made things worse. I didn’t see any way that I could ever stop the chaos I was living in much less get on to dealing with my divorce in any real way. I felt like I was performing and not really living. I was really miserable!
But, things slowly changed when I started changing my internal story. Instead of envisioning a life of doom and destruction, my stories became more about experiencing sadness and then more about being tired of the sadness and imagining what changes I could make. And then, I started actually making changes – some really big changes. I started living again instead of feeling like a prisoner of circumstances.
It can be the same for you. Simply by changing the story you’re telling yourself, you can dramatically (even if it takes time like it did for me) change your life for the better, stop feeling overwhelmed and really begin dealing with divorce in a way that allows you to move on.
2. Take care of you first.
For those of us who have a tendency to get burned out, when we feel stressed about divorce it can be especially easy to forget about taking care of ourselves and just focus on what needs to be done for others instead. After all, they’re depending on us, right?
It’s easy for me to identify a new client who isn’t taking care of themselves because they have a difficult time answering questions like
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you exercising?
- Are you eating nutritious meals?
in the affirmative. They’ll squirm a bit before answering or try to deflect the question with a joke or some explanation as to why they can’t sleep or exercise or eat well.