No one will argue that this is a difficult time for everyone but if you are newly divorced with or without children, I can imagine that this is an especially scary time for you. Not only are you adjusting to a new post-divorce life but the uncertainty is only compounded by the restrictions of the current situation. At a time when you need the company and support of others, you are having to endure self-quarantine. Not the most ideal situation, even for the strongest of heart.
This is a time for you to practice self-care if ever there was one. When one is by themselves, even for a short time, dark, scary thoughts can take over. Remember, thoughts are just thoughts and don’t have to be based in reality but more than likely, based in fear. Here is where mindfulness and planning can be your life preserver.
Be mindful of your feelings and thoughts but keep them in perspective. Establish which ones are based in reality and which ones are based in fear. The ones that are reality-based, come up with a plan to address them, and the ones that are fear-based, ask yourself why you have this fear and address that and not the original thought or feeling. For those times in the still of the night when unpleasant thoughts creep in, have a plan as to what you will do to combat those moments. It is better to plan ahead when you are thinking clearly than when you are in the throes of quicksand.
One of the hardest things in a divorce is being separated from your children, especially during a crisis. Please remember, that as parents, your job is to put your children first and that includes considering the other parent. Nothing will stress a child out more than to be worried or not having contact with both parents. This is the time to put your differences aside and focus on helping your children adjust to this new situation. Work with, instead of against each other, in how you will navigate time with your children.
Personal self-care is equally as important during this transition from spouse, full-time parent to single and facing this crisis alone. Determine who is part of your support system and don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Join Facebook groups and online support groups. Schedule a daily phone call with a friend or family member. Do whatever it takes to get you through this stage of change. Come up with projects to do at home where you feel a sense of accomplishment. Establish a routine and stick to it, do not lounge in jammies all day. Only read uplifting books, watch comedies and talk with people who are not doomsayers. Get outside and walk, run, do yard work, swim, or any other form of exercise. Exercise will keep those good endorphins flowing and your body in shape. One of the worst things you could do for yourself is to overindulge in alcohol consumption or drugs. This is only counterproductive and will make you feel bluer.
Note to self, positive thoughts will bring about positive results. As Howard Schultz said, “In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.”