The first year after separation is the hardest, simply because of all the changes that need to be weathered! Whether you initiated the split or not, life is definitely different than it was when you were married. So, here’s my take on 10 things that helped me get through that first year, and into the future:
1 My kids: Honestly, their love for me was really healing. Their love for me and their energy and excitement for life, carried me through some rough times. It was trans-formative. It still constantly inspires me to bring my best self to my life – for them.
2 Old resurrected hobbies: Doing more of the things I enjoyed and rediscovering long lost hobbies or activities I hadn’t done in years, made me happy. It was sort of the start of finding myself, in-amongst all the drama and going on around me with regards to my separation.
3 My routine: Being needed really helped keep me going. Whether it be at work, or for volunteering, or for my kids, or friends, knowing that people were counting on me to complete something or do something or contribute in some way, got me out of bed in the morning, and kept me moving all day. Especially on those hard days.
4 Trash TV: I confess – there was actually a phase I went through, when the kids were at their dad’s for the weekend, where I would spend a full Saturday afternoon (and maybe even the evening) watching The Kardashian’s and other reality TV shows. Even when it was a beautiful summer’s day outside. It was a great way to zone out of my life for a while!! Thankfully, now I’ve swung completely the other way – I cancelled cable over a year ago now, and figured I’d sign up for Netflix when I started missing TV too much, but so far so good! More time to blog I guess - ha!
5 Chocolate: Chocolate is always a special treat – and one I do use to just chill out and veg with. Sometimes it does the trick! You could also sub in: a glass of wine, a beer, etc, whatever you’re vice may be.
6 Exercise: When my mind was racing and I was just stressed all the way around – exercise never failed to clear my mind and settle my anxieties, it’s incredible!! It also filled up my capacity for patience and empathy, and so I’d find myself dealing with life on a far more healthy level, with regular exercise included in my week!
7 My Ex: This may sound insane. But my ex was reasonable and straightforward to deal with, and still is to this day. He certainly didn’t make anything harder than it had to be, and I thank god for that! He’s been a wonderful co-parent and my kids are lucky to have him as their dad. Having a straightforward way of relating made the emotions of that first year, easier to manage, because nothing became overly dramatic and no one got on a soapbox and so on. It was very even keeled and nearly always in the best interest of the kids.
8 Sleep: EVERYTHING runs more smoothly when you’re well rested. Enough Said.
9 Astrology: I was only mildly interested in astrology before my separation. I knew my sign and read my horoscope if I came across it in the paper. Nothing serious. However, once I was on my own, I became OBSESSED with reading my daily/monthly/yearly horoscopes and even have an astrologer now, who I get annual readings from. It was a way for me to look at the big picture when I was feeling overwhelmed with what I was dealing with right at the moment. And I’ve kept it up, because it’s really helped me find new and old passions and become more strategic with the timing of things, based on the planetary cycles.
10 Family & Friends: My family and friends were mostly surprised by the news of our separation, so they weren’t overly helpful, I think they were truly unsure of what to do or say. Thankfully, most of my family and friends are married and have no idea what going through a separation/divorce is like. But there was certainly some well-timed conversations and thoughtful emails and fun get togethers that helped boost my spirits and keep me moving forward. And I am very grateful for that!
Now - I’d love to hear from you, so leave a post in the messages below, with what your number 1 struggle is/was through that first year and how you are overcoming it! Also, don’t forget to share or like my post if you found it helpful,
Have a good day!
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