This article is written from my heart to offer tips and advice for all those going through a divorce. I have been where you are right now, boy was it tough, but I found my way back, actually even better than back, I created a whole new life beyond anything I had imagined and I know you can too.
Although each story and situation is so different the threads are the same, and the ways in which we heal, the ways in which we stitch and knit and beautifully crochet our lives back together, well, they create the tapestry of the new you.
Below are just some of the ways you can navigate divorce the healthy way, for your mind, body & spirit.
“All great changes are preceded by Chaos” - Deepak Chopra
One day at a time….Commit to just one hour a day. Look forward to enjoying 60 minutes of your day with relish. This is the biggest investment to yourself that will accumulate each day and give great results.
You can call it whatever you wish but please make it positive. “Power hour”, “Happy hour”, “Me hour”, “My secret hour”. Sounds good right?
In our darkest times we really can feel like we are losing it, our minds race from one thought to the next. The bandwidth for all we have going on can feel insurmountable, your thoughts may be constantly projecting to the future, or, of course, flitting to the past.
We need to drop the “What if’s” and the “if only’s” and look at ways in which we can be more present and calm. Robust daily routines keep you grounded so you know where you are, here are some suggestions.
Meditation is one such formula which receives rave reviews and there are many types to choose from. Introducing a form of meditation into a daily practice can really reduce all the noise going on in your head.
You do not have to sit for hours to gain the benefits of meditation practice, people can feel improvement from even 5 minutes, although, once I began this practice I felt the desire to sit longer in a meditative space.
“One conscious breath in and out is meditation” - Eckhart Tolle
There are many different types of meditation available today, each with their own unique benefits. From guided meditations to mantra-based practices, there’s something to meet each individual’s needs and goals.
The practice of Breathwork involves changing our breathing pattern from shallow chest breaths to deep belly breaths from the diaphragm. This diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which induces relaxation.
Through this release of tension, we are able to gain insight into our thoughts and feelings while expanding self-awareness and connecting with ourselves and everything beyond ourselves. Breathwork also helps to reduce stress levels, and could even reduce depression and anxiety, improve sleep quality and more.
Now don’t you feel like focusing more on your breath? The benefits are going to be endless..
Journaling is a type of therapeutic practice which is used to help you understand your emotions and experiences in life.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom” - Oprah
The basic principle behind journaling is to write down one's thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Doing this allows us to explore our innermost thoughts without fear of judgment or criticism; it also provides a safe space to express ourselves more freely.
There is a wonderful book by author Julia Cameron called The Artists Way, it’s a great tool and insight into how you can begin to journal and open up to some of your subconscious beliefs.
An affirmation is a simple and powerful tool used to help create new patterns of thought by replacing negative self-talk with positive, encouraging words. These powerful statements can be used to affirm your goals, dreams, or desires. They serve as reminders, to remind us of what we want to achieve in life and the power of our own thoughts.
Here’s a great one for you to read and repeat right now
“I am enough”.
“I am capable”
These phrases will help you to focus on your strengths and potential instead of dwelling on your weaknesses or past failures.
“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it”. - Maya Angelou
Hands down this was one of the strongest and most simple healing methods that truly helped me come home to myself.
I began by finding 3 things I was grateful for that day, I included mine in my morning journaling. Much like sitting in meditation, I soon found myself with longer daily gratitude lists and guess what… the more I focused on the good things …well, more good things showed up.
Research has shown that regular practice of gratitude can benefit both physical and psychological health, leading to greater happiness and satisfaction with life overall.
5 Senses Technique
Waves of anxiety would hit me at unexpected times and it would feel terrifying. Until I discovered this fab, easy technique that would quickly bring me back to myself.
So, tapping into our full five senses is a powerful way to bring us back into the present moment, it’s easy to do and it will bring you back into your body very very quickly.
Let’s start with vision. What can you see around you? Looking out of a window, notice what the weather is like. What is the view like? Is there anything in particular you love or don't love about what you are seeing?
What can you touch? See what you have nearby, on a table or whatever is close next to you. I have a crystal beside me right now, I can feel the smoothness and then also the edges, instantly I am back in my body.
What can you smell? Even if it is your own perfume, check in with what you can smell, perhaps there are some flowers close by, or your pet even, take a nice deep breath and smell.
What can you hear? Maybe it is the tick tock of a clock, the birds outside, the noise from the traffic in the street. Acknowledge different noises and just explore how the sounds make you feel.
Finally, What can you taste? If you can, find something you can taste, maybe a nice juicy apple, a sip of tea, or even a refreshing glass of water, again just noticing the full flavor of what you are experiencing.
If you fully engage in this exercise you will most certainly feel more present and back to your normal state of being.
Radical Self Love
Radical self love is the practice of unconditional acceptance, respect, and admiration for oneself. It is a process of redefining the beliefs and stories that we hold about ourselves in order to create a healthier view of who we are.
Radical self love encourages us to be kinder to ourselves by engaging in positive affirmations that build up confidence and support our journey to having loving relationships with both ourselves and others.
Radical self love asks us to forgive ourselves. We are very often our own worst critics and this technique asks us to completely turn that around. It’s very powerful work and throughout some of my other blogs (link below), I speak deeper on this and a technique called Mirror Work which has incredible results.
“True forgiveness is when you can say thank you for that experience.” - Oprah
Support Circle / Therapists & Counsellors
Having a strong supportive circle can be crucial at this time. This does not have to come in the form of friendships or family, in fact, very often as relationships break down the external friendships can also be deeply affected and to prevent complications it is recommended to also seek out a professional confidant where you can safely share your emotions and speak freely about how things feel for you.
Emotional Eating/ Drinking & What To Do
Ok, this was a biggie for me to face and deal with. After a lot of inner work and seeking understanding, I was able to identify the underlying issues and the driving force behind why I was picking up either food or excessively drinking. This is essential to breaking any kind of habit but becomes especially vital in relation to more physical habits or addictions like food and drink.
It is a big topic and deserves deeper insight than what I will share here so, if this is you and you would like to find out more I recommend heading here for more information. https://www.thefoodaddictioncoach.co.uk/2021/12/craving-control-10-tips/
Move Your Body
When we experience a loss or grief of any kind, (and, let’s face it, divorce can feel exactly like this) we can become quite frozen, our bodies go into shutdown. The negative energy of fight or flight has nowhere to go. Stagnation sets in and creates more opportunity for disease and other unwanted experiences.
So, maybe it’s time to cast your mind back to something you enjoyed when you were younger? Or of course a time to hit the gym and make new friends.
Whatever you choose… choose to move.
Dress To Impress (You that is)
It’s time to wear what makes you feel good.
Have you finished with your hobo moment (I know I looked this way when I was going through mine, until a good friend did kindly suggest I may need a wash)
It wasn’t my finest hour but then there comes a time when you wake up and decide…
Today I Choose ME
So, is it time for a total revamp?
Go through your wardrobe and check in with how the clothing makes you feel. Have you been dressing down and covering yourself in order to not be noticed? Perhaps you just have not cared for yourself and everyone else’s needs have been upfront leaving you still wearing clothes from ten years ago.
Go through Pinterest.. Play like it’s your own virtual shopping store and vision some refreshing vibes that light you up.
And, talking of Virtual shopping I would like to invite you on your own personal Virtual New Life experience.
Just one session of Future Life Progression can help you really step into what is possible for you, a glimpse at how things can be has worked wonders for so many people who are then able to bring about the actions needed to actualize and live the life of their dreams.
It is healthy, positive, and fun too.
I know things feel scary right now but I promise there is a wonderful bright future ahead. I am now living mine and I know you can too.
To conclude and in the words of Brene Brown
There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we will judge our ability to make our way through the uncertainty . Someone somewhere will say “don’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to survive the wilderness.”
This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself
I am The Wilderness. - Brene Brown
About the Author
Olubunmi Aboaba is a burnout and food addiction coach. You can check her out on Instagram or go to her blog Your Future Life.