Surviving a Divorce – Divorce can be frightening, overwhelming, and outright sad. It can bring financial fears, as you may question how you’re going to survive financially, where you’ll live, and how you’ll get by moving forward. It can bring parental fears, as you may wonder how your children will cope. It can also bring societal fears, such as worrying about what your friends and family will think.
Here’s the thing though, actually a benefit: Divorce allows you to start fresh. It establishes the foundation for creating a simpler and more meaningful life. One where you’re living more intentionally and keeping only what brings you joy and value.
Surviving a divorce can be easier with these 5 tips:
“Life after divorce is expensive, but starting over is priceless.”
Surviving a Divorce Tip 1) Change Your Perspective & Cut the Negativity
When you’re going through a divorce, a flood of negative thoughts can take over – placing you in a world of fear and loss. You may constantly ask yourself, “What if this happens?” “How am I going to do this?” “Can I survive this?” To top it off, studies have proven, negative thoughts fuel more negative thoughts – leading to a dark cycle of more fear and anxiety.
This is normal – however, to ease transitioning into a post-divorce life, try changing your perspectives. Rather than looking at your life’s next chapter through goggles of negative thoughts, allowing your fear to dictate how you’re moving forward, look at it through eyes of clarity.
Consider your thoughts of fear, sadness, and confusion as unwanted visitors in your mind. They’re nothing more than thoughts and DON’T have the power to dictate or interpret your life. With practice, as you begin thinking of your negative thoughts as unwanted visitors you can simply ignore, you’ll begin realizing your thoughts are nothing more than thoughts and your mind can start clearing up.
For additional clarity, grab pen & paper and jot down all your concerns. This can relax your mind as you’re no longer required to “store” your stresses mentally, given that they’ll be captured on paper.
Additionally, as the saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” Therefore, find someone you trust, who doesn’t judge, and you value their opinion. If this person doesn’t exist, perhaps speak to a therapist or join a support group. Then, show them your list. As a neutral party, this individual can help you unwind some of your concerns and offer you strategies that you may not have thought of.
Surviving a Divorce Tip 2) Declutter Physically & Mentally to Release the Negativity & Bring in the Positivity
Divorce not only allows you to move past a spouse whom you’re no longer aligned with, but it allows you to move past possessions, obligations, and other relationships which no longer bring joy and value.
Take this opportunity to go through your possessions, responsibilities, expenses, and relationships and determine if they bring you value, joy, and/or help you become a better version of yourself. If they don’t, then consider removing them from your life.
You see, as you may know, life can be hectic. Divorce, however, can take an already hectic life to an entirely other level. Subsequently, when you let go of the materials and aspects of your life that no longer serve, you can feel a weight lifted off. You can notice less worry, stress, and chaos. It can even help you get past any painful memories that may be challenging you from moving forward.
Surviving a Divorce Tip 3) Create a Budget Decreasing Expenses & Increasing Income
It’s quote common to notice a drop in your household income after divorce. Although unsettling, you CAN get through it – it simply requires budgeting and taking control of your financial decisions.
Begin with creating an honest (no judgment) budget detailing your monthly income and expenditures. How much money do you bring in a month? How much do you spend? What do you spend it on? Usually, you strive to bring in more than you spend, or in other words, spend less than you bring in. Therefore, brainstorm – how can you reduce your expenditures and increase your income?
Reduce Your Expenses
Ask yourself, what expenditures can you cut for the short-term (or perhaps long-term)?Are you paying for any frivolous subscriptions? Do you really need to pay for cable when you can stream shows? Do you really need to pay for a gym membership when you can workout from home or take advantage of Southern California’s beautiful outdoors? Do you really need Starbucks or can you brew a cup of Joe at home?
Moreover, are there any fees that you can negotiate or switch to a cheaper provider? Perhaps your phone bill? Insurance? As you consider each of your expenditures, remember this, by opting for more conscious and intentional spending, you’ll begin letting go of what’s frivolous and stress inducing – and instead keeping what’s important.
Increase Your Income
Next, look at how much income you’re bringing in. Although the thought of increasing your income during a divorce may appear farfetched, it’s not. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in the workforce, or now you’re finding yourself as a single parent with little time to work a full time job, foremost – believe in yourself and us, when we say you will get through this mentally and financially.
That said, one of the first thing you can do to generate money is to sell the possessions you decided to declutter from your life. Whether you hold an old fashion yard sale or go virtually and sell your stuff on Facebook Marketplace, Offer-Up, Craigslist, ThredUp, Poshmark, or Mercari (just to name a few), not only is this a great way to fill a little (or quite possibly a lot) of cash in your pockets, but it’s an opportunity to allow your old things which no longer serve you, bring value to others.
Second, as you begin writing this new chapter in your life – and if you’re considering re-entering the workforce or growing professionally, take this opportunity to pursue a path YOU desire. A path which excites you. Even if you’re currently not experienced in the path you’re pursuing, find your career sweet spot – where what you enjoy doing and are good at, brings value to others.
Therefore, first determine what you enjoy or are excited to do. Second, consider what you’re good at (and/or what you can learn, to make up for any lack of knowledge/experience). Third, establish how you can use what you’re good at (or can learn), which you also enjoy doing, to bring value to others. Once you’ve uncovered this, the opportunities are endless.
If you can’t get a full time job, consider how you can start a small side business offering your services or products. Or, consider how you can work for someone else part-time. We’re going to save these ideas for another blog, but in short, once you determine what professional path you’d like to take, jot down a list of how many different ways you can offer your services to generate income. A common trait among the world’s wealthiest are that they have multiple streams of income. Therefore, don’t be afraid to pursue a few different streams.
Third, on the topic of multiple streams of income, depending on how quickly and how much additional income you need to generate, be open to picking up an entry-level job. Whether you start working as an Uber drive (which offers great flexibility), waiting at a restaurant, or even picking up a job in an industry/company you wish to enter – keep your perspectives open.
On another note, if you are considering entering a new profession, consider volunteering your services as well. This will help build your experience and allow you to network for greater opportunities.
4) Incorporate Self-Care
Self-care…it’s a thing & it’s important. Given divorce brings stress, it’s all the more important to use this time to take care of and love yourself! Even if you’re a parent, remember the old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
Mind, Body, and Soul – Surviving a divorce means using this time to grow stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually, even if it means creating self-care routines and scheduling them in. Journal. Spend time in nature. Eat healthier. Get up and get active. Read. Sleep. Bask in the sun. Don’t allow excuses to prevent you from taking care of yourself – as self-care not only rejuvenates you holistically, but it brings you the clarity and strength needed to move forward.
5) Ask for Help
It’s interesting how when we’re getting married we invite an entire tribe to help us prepare for the big day – to help with planning, execution of tasks, calm our nerves, offer comfort, and serve as a support system. Yet, when we divorce, we’re less likely to create such a tribe. Why? Perhaps fear of being judged? Perhaps not wishing to bring our troubles onto someone else? Honestly, building a tribe to help you get through a divorce is not only recommended, but it should be a given. Whether you choose to work with your close family and friends or outsiders (i.e. your community, support groups, and/or therapists), don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to see what resources are available to you. You don’t have to go through this alone. And as always, if we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
“Be strong now, because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.” -Unknown