STRATEGIES TO SURVIVE YOUR SEPARATION

 

I want to share with you not only how to survive the end of your relationship, but how to thrive and create your best life ever.

It’s normal to feel a whole range of negative emotions. I see clients on a daily basis that are experiencing fear, stress, confusion, panic, grief and sadness. The breakdown of your serious relationship is considered to be the second most traumatic experience in life after the death of a loved one. It is no surprise then, why you feel so much hurt and pain in your life when you go through a separation.

Of course, every situation is different, and every person is unique. However, for most people, regardless of whether the separation was a joint decision, instigated by you or not at all your choice, it will involve a rollercoaster of emotions and a large range of practical changes to your life. In most cases your life will not be the same and there will be adjustments that need to be made. For some the heartbreak will be extreme, for others the relationship may have fizzed out over time, yet either way the challenges that you may face can be overwhelming.

The good news is that this time in your life does pass, but until it does there are strategies that you can use to cope better and help you take renewed control of your life.

5 STRATEGIES TO SURVIVING SEPARATION

STRATEGY 1: GATHER YOUR TROOPS

The beneficial impact of having a support team around you cannot be underestimated. It is true – a problem shared really IS a problem halved. You need a team around you that will support you and give you constructive and practical advice.

YOUR ‘SEPARATION SUPPORT TEAM’ SHOULD INCLUDE:

1. A family law solicitor – Choose someone that specialises in the area of family law and that you feel comfortable working with, as you need to feel trust in that person. It is also important to consider someone who fits your budget. Don’t think that a lawyer is better just because they are from a top tier firm or because their fees are higher.

2. An independent accountant or financial adviser – It is a great idea to get advice about how you can make your financial future work, and in fact look brighter, now that you are single.

3. A counselor or psychologist – It is so important to have someone to talk through the emotions that you’re dealing with. Your lawyer, friends and family are great, but they are not appropriately qualified to be able to offer you professional advice about the emotional issues that you are facing. This is a time that you need to take care of you, which first and foremost will be done by taking care of your mental health.

4. Friends and family – Carefully select the family and friends that you seek support from. It is important to have support on your side, but you don’t need anything to be stirred up or made worse by anyone meddling. You just need people to be there for you as and when you need them – a shoulder to cry on, non-judgmental ears to listen, as many hugs as possible and maybe a school pick or two.

5. Get active – It is so important to look after yourself at this time, physically as well as mentally. Start walking or find another exercise that you enjoy. You might be surprised at how boosted your spirits can be just from getting some fresh air. You will feel better about yourself, have a clearer mind and be able to make better decisions.

STRATEGY 2: TAKE YOUR POWER BACK

It’s normal to feel powerless and out of control after you separate, especially if it wasn’t your decision to end your relationship. Your life was going along in one direction and all of a sudden there has been a huge shift. It can feel like you are out of control of your own life, and you can find yourself in a state of reaction.

Now is the time to realise you are the master of yourself. You cannot control what anyone else does, but you do have complete control over what you do, say and think. It may not feel like it when you are going though a separation, but you are in the driver’s seat. You have many choices before you and no one can make them for you.

You get to choose whether to react or respond to your ex-partner and, if you are going to, in what way. Take your time, slow down and think about your options. The choices are yours to make. You are now separated, and you don’t have to do things that please or dis-please your ex partner. You now have to do things that are in the best interest of you, and your children if you have them.

STRATEGY 3: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS

Put simply, going through a separation is challenging and it is emotional. There will be some form of grief, even if you instigated the separation, so you need to allow yourself to move through the grieving process. Just let it happen and move through it. Acknowledge your feelings, and let the tears come if they have to. Crying is a healthy way of letting it all out when compared to other less desirable options such as substance abuse, working 24/7, getting into a rebound relationship, or engaging in risky or violent behaviour.

Don’t be afraid to be sad; it’s a normal part of the process as you move through the end of your relationship.

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I believe at any point in our lives, young or old, big or small, that we can choose to push reset to become the best version of ourselves.

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@CARALEE.FONTENELE

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CARALEE FONTENELE