While divorce is never easy, there are simple steps you can take to help you thrive through the process. These include self care practices as well as practical measures, which will increase your sense of empowerment and protect your interests.
1. Mindfulness & Deep Breathing
As humans, our stress response is turned on when we feel in danger. With divorce, our world is turned upside down signaling our fight or flight response to engage. While this is a protective biological reaction, it is not good to be in a sustained state of stress, since it impairs our better judgement and can ultimately cause illness and disease.
The best thing you can do when dealing with the myriad of stressful divorce triggers is to learn to engage in mindfulness practices and deep breathing. Simply stop throughout your day whether you are stressed or not, sit comfortably, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and bring your awareness to what you're doing, thinking, and sensing.
Take deep, oxygen filled breaths and release in a rhythmic fashion. The more you do this throughout your day, each day, the more you will crave it and the more you will be able to control your stress response.
2. Focus on the Now
The divorce process can cause a great deal of overwhelm, causing you to get ahead of yourself by worrying about "what ifs". Staying focused on the present and the immediate task at hand will be beneficial to reducing stress while making progress towards your end goals.
3. Practice Self Love
Divorce does not mean you are a failure. Life is full of changes and ups and down. Although divorce is life changing, painful and stressful., it is just one of these experiences. The key is to treat yourself with kindness and patience, as living in a mindset of love will raise your energy vibration and attract to you, the things you want most.
4. Get a Handle on Your Finances and Assets
Since divorce means that you will be separating your finances and diving assets, starting it sooner rather than later may help avoid conflict and other issues down the road. It may be helpful to consult with your accountant and if you do not have one, this is a great time to build a relationship with one.
Their expertise can assist you to take inventory of shared bank accounts, significant joint assets, all of which you will need if it is necessary to complete a statement of net worth. Other important issues such as tax implications will be valuable for your divorce attorney when negotiating and crafting your divorce agreement and even help you to put together a budget for daily living.
5. Figure Out Your Monthly Living Expenses
Focus on what your living expenses will be as you transition to non-married life. Engage with your accountant, if necessary to help you put together a realistic budget and helpful spreadsheets for keeping track of your expenditures. Getting a sense of your budget will bring clarity about your needs so you can communicate them with your attorney who can advocate for the best possible financial divorce outcome.
6. Get Your Own Credit Card
Since you will be separating all financial ties with your ex-spouse, you may need to cancel joint credit cards or talk about what to do if you mutually decide to keep one or more of them active for some time. If you don't have a credit card with your name as the primary account holder, now is the time that you will want to open an account for yourself and build credit under your name.
7. Change Your Power of Attorney
You may want to consider a living will and a power of attorney (POA), which is something that most people are not thinking about during this stressful time. Unlike your will, which provides guidance for after you die, a living will and POA are only valid while you're alive. You may want to assign someone that is not your soon-to-be ex-spouse in the event you become incapacitated.
8. Build/Maintain Good Credit
Working with a credit specialist to check your credit score and then creating a plan to build and maintain a good credit score for yourself will make it easier to do things like buying a new home or even applying for rent.