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No More Damsels In Distress Post-Divorce


Don't be a damsel in distress post-divorce. Be the last survivor.

I couldn't find a better post-divorce survivor if I tried, than Sigourney Weaver in Political Animals.  As Weaver said in an interview Friday, "When I look around the world, I don't really see too many damsels in distress." As Elaine Barrish, Weaver is strong, determined, intelligent and competent. So of course Barrish is called cold and calculating by some.

No one exits a marriage sans angst, but what are the successful ingredients in a relatively distress-free post-divorce adjustment? These are my suggestions for damage-control:

Take yourself seriously. Whether it's as a parent, at work or in a new pursuit, whatever it may be, what you're doing is the most important thing you've ever done in your life.

Make it real. When you're busy taking yourself seriously, there's not much room for negativity.

Focus on what you're doing. What you're doing deserves your complete attention. The class you've started, the meal you're cooking, the work you're doing, they're all worthy of your focus. While taking care of business, you don't have time to wallow.

Try new stuff. Consider something different.  I doesn't matter if it's yoga, speed-dating, a triathlon or an art class. Shifting some of your time and attention to mastering something new is a good challenge. It creates positive energy and optimism.

Keep busy. Forget about taking time to process.  You'll process enough. Keep yourself scheduled and doing things. Think about the people and things you want in your life, and make space for them.

Be authentic. Let your thoughts, words and deed reflect the things you truly believe in. You may have to figure out what you believe in, since divorce does have a nasty way of shaking up all our beliefs. But these are good things to spend time thinking about. What do I really want, need believe?

Next: Practice stress management...

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