We all know that a change of routine is hard, however, the change that comes into your life immediately after separation or divorce has its own unique set of challenges. Not only will you be thrown into the deep end of a new routine – all that is familiar to you, your foundation, your structure and your placement in the world – can no longer be relied on to support you.
Although separation and divorce in itself is a lengthy process, the moment that either you or your ex-partner moves out of the family home, is sudden. No matter the circumstances surrounding your divorce, whether you welcomed or feared it, there will be a yawning chasm felt both within your environment and within your being.
For this reason, it is best to prepare ourselves beforehand by creating a support structure that will nurture your new sense of independence and confidence, as well as begin to fill up that internal chasm with experiences that will nourish you.
There are many reasons for divorce – whichever they are for you – a common side effect is the sense of loss that those walking this road experience. I am not speaking about the loss of the relationship – but rather the loss of your own essence. The things that used to make you… you. Your hobbies that were neglected over time, your passions that faded away, the risks you used to take, even the friendships that need to be re-ignited.
Divorce is an opportunity to reclaim these parts of yourself that, whether intentionally or not, were sacrificed for the marriage. It is an opportunity to grab this new chapter in your life with both hands and purposefully create how this new beginning will look.
All work and no play is an adage that holds deep truth for living a happy and balanced life. The stress of divorce cannot be escaped; there will be tears, doubt, pain, remorse, anger and sadness. To balance this time in your life with laughter, hope, companionship, adventure and peace, a decision must be made that can only be taken by you.
Now is the time to be strict with yourself, to intentionally set new habits and routines that will follow you out of the marriage and into your new life. It is the time to be both disciplined and caring with your time and your inner resources. You have the power to choose how much energy you are going to pour into the divorce process, and how much you are going to pour into yourself.
Proactive Actions you can take:
- Set time aside to make a list of all the things that you miss about yourself. They can range from personality traits you used to have to activities you used to do.
- Set time aside each week which is dedicated only to you. This time must be filled with 100% selfish activities that feed your soul. Read a book, take an hour-long bath, go to the gym, walk in the park, whatever it is that you need to feel centred and rejuvenated.
- Spend time re-working your budget and see if it is possible to allocate a portion of it towards activities that will benefit your sense of self. If this is not possible investigate what groups or options are open to you that cost nothing more than a bit of effort.
- Work on building your new support structure every day. You will need emotional support, but also the practical variety, most especially if you are a parent. There are many parent and community support groups which you can tap into. But reach out, speak to your friends and family and have the courage to ask for what you need.
- Don’t be afraid to feel, the faster you process the emotions and the experience, the quicker you will be able to move through the divorce transformation and step fully into your new life.
Sonia Killik is a certified life coach with a special interest in guiding relationship transitions and rebuilding lives from the inside out. As a published author, she also offers services to aspiring writers who need support completing and publishing their manuscripts. She was the columnist for Me Magazine, was awarded the Outstanding Community Honour for promoting the human rights and empowerment of women, and recognised by Marie Claire as one of the female Green Warriors of the Year.
www.soniakillik.com | +27 82 602 6112 | Sonia@soniakillik.com