One of the most difficult things that anyone can go through is a separation or divorce. Regardless of the reason, it can be a difficult transition both emotionally and financially. The most challenging period tends to be the immediate aftermath where one will have to gradually adjust themselves to the new changes that are brought about without the dynamic of a couple being together. However, this transition does not have to be hard. And with enough consistency, you may be able to find effective coping mechanisms to help you through these trying times. Here are five ways that you can cope with separation.
One of the best ways to get your mind off the separation at hand is to focus on what you enjoy and stick to it. This comes in the form of hobbies and exploring your interests. Before you entertain any relationship, you need to learn how to become comfortable with yourself and loving who you are. One way is by doing what you enjoy. Whether this is physical exercise, meditation, reading, or anything else that always makes you happy – hold on to it.
It is during times of separation when you should focus on reconnecting with those things that you enjoyed doing apart from your former partner. Invest in your hobbies, volunteer in the community, and take time to enjoy what life has to offer you instead of wallowing in endless sorrow. It will be good for your mental health.
Separation of any variety can bring about copious amounts of stress. This is primarily because a relationship that spanned the course of many years eventually broke down. Whoever wanted the separation or why you separated does not change the fact that there will be many days filled with sorrow, angst, sadness, and even tears. You owe it to yourself to take some time to mourn the loss. You should tell yourself that it is okay to be sad about it. When you are mourning your loss, you should find a powerful support system that you can rely on, such as friends or relatives.
More importantly, you want to find people that will allow you to express your feelings and allow you to feel sad without trying to “fix” the situation for you. Allow your emotions to flow freely because there is nothing more human. A way of life is essentially being lost, and you lost the person that may have been able to previously fulfill those roles. While doing this, you can also find effective ways to express your frustrations in a productive way, such as writing.
Unfortunately, while this will definitely be a troubling time for you, time will still move on. Eventually, you are going to have to plan what you expect out of the future. This is involves all aspects of your life. Your financial life, post-marriage, should be stressed a great deal. You should be asking yourself if you will be making a suitable income to not only pay the bills, but to also support yourself. Now that your total income is slashed in half with a partner gone, you may want to consider getting a financial advisor, as they will understand tax laws much better than you may. Having an advisor can also help you expedite the process of understanding what you need for yourself in order to become self-sufficient.
The bottom line is that you may not be able to make major decisions until you feel better about yourself, but you will eventually have to make these huge decisions and moving on will have to be an option on the table. Consulting your divorce attorney during the initial stages of the separation is also something you will have to make sure you do so that the transition is not confusing.
Establishing boundaries is highly important in terms of shielding yourself from the pain that can take place from the extended separation. These boundaries can be limiting the time that you spend with your ex-partner. If there is a kid involved, then, of course, communication may remain key. But if it is in another sense, limiting the energy, physical affection, and time you give your ex-partner is sometimes best to keep platonic. If you attempt to pursue a romantic relationship or try to gain something serious out of it, it may result in unnecessary pain and emotional trauma.
Staying friends after being in a relationship for so long can be difficult, and sometimes, it may look unrealistic in the short-term. However, if it is clear that nothing can be re-established, it is best to establish boundaries and prevent yourself from doing something that can cause further pain down the road.
Perhaps most importantly, you will want to make sure that you take care of yourself in a holistic manner – not just in a mental sense, but physically as well. There are many people who resort to extreme measures as a result of depression or mental health issues commonly associated with separation. Ensure that you are eating and hydrating yourself adequately, and do not resort to using drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with stress. This can cause serious health issues in the short and long term.
It’s also important to allow yourself a time of reflecting and re-evaluating life, because balance is key. Dwelling on the past is normal. But if you focus on it too much, it can impact your mindset, which can then impact your health. If necessary, reach out for support during the tough times or seek help from professionals. It’s crucial to speak to a professional if your daily routine has been compromised. This is especially the case if you happen to have thoughts of harming yourself.
As you can see, separation is a very serious matter that can have repercussions if you are not careful with how you handle it. It is not easy to deal with, but with enough consistent coping mechanisms, you will be able to make a seamless transition into the next phase of your life. Do not allow the separation to change who you are as a person, and do not allow bad habits to negatively impact your health.