Divorce can put your mind in a tailspin. It can oftentimes feel like an avalanche of emotions, decisions, and urgency toppling over your entire body, leaving you buried and while you are experiencing this awful feeling you are also being asked to keep moving – keep making decisions. Your attorney asks you to keep making major life decisions. Your former partner asks you to evaluate your new set of circumstances when it may be the very last thing that you want to do.
Whether you work or not, your day is waiting for you; it wants you to get up and get moving, despite the fact that your only desire may be to completely check out.
Part of the reason that overwhelming emotions are bottling up inside of you may be that you do not know how to take the first step toward sanity. After all, how do you take the first step when everyone around you wants something from you and it is all presented to you as being urgent.
All that you desire is one brief feeling of “I’ve got this!”
So, here are a few ways to get that “I’ve got this” feeling:
Set Some Boundaries. If your attorney needs information from you right away and you are busy, then you must communicate this to your attorney. Tell him or her when you do have the time to be responsive.
If your spouse wants to discuss settling an issue with you immediately and you are not able to, maybe tell him or her that you will be ready to have a meaningful discussion tomorrow or the next day.
Communication is key to managing your relationships.
Prioritize. Write out all legal issues, look at them as a comprehensive whole but also pinpoint which issues should be discussed sooner rather than later. What matters most to you, to your spouse, to your children?
Maybe this week you will tackle child support and custody. Maybe next week you will tackle asset division. Your attorney may have a very different outlook on matters but it is important that you communicate your wishes and reasoning to your attorney.
Prioritize your day as well as household chores, your children’s needs, and your work needs.
Make a List. Each and every day, make a list for these 3 categories:
Under Legal, make a list of two issues that you will give thought to or work toward resolving. Do not determine your success by whether an issue under a category is resolved. You are successful just by contemplating the matter.
Under Your Day, write down what you need to accomplish in your own personal life. Now if you are a parent, the list as to what you have to do for you and your children on any given day is probably a mile long. But the point is to write it down. This will provide you with the feeling that your day is manageable.
Under Personal Care, write down how you want to take care of yourself today and how to show yourself that you care about yourself. Maybe you can take a bath, go for a run around the neighborhood or read a book in a comfortable space. You must find a little way each day to take care of, and ideally reward, yourself.
As your days become more organized and intention driven, you will not only find “time” to accomplish your day-to-day tasks, but you will have the time to give to yourself, to your family, and to your divorce.