I saw this great post on LinkedIn today; “Let’s Stop the Glorification of Busy” by Guy Kawasaki. He was taking excerpts from Arianna Huffington’s new Book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder”. and applying it to society’s culture of being busy.
Reading through, I discovered that the ten suggestions from “Thrive” applied aptly to divorce as much as it does to taming our culture of “busy”.
- Redefine success. Divorce is a series of losses, some small and others terribly difficult to deal with. Knowing this, redefining what “success” means to you will help your cope with the new set of circumstances.
- Avoid burnout. Stress and depression are always there during a divorce. To the extent you can take care of yourself to avoid burnout you will be ahead of the game.
- Nurture your well-being. This goes hand in hand with avoiding burnout. Take time to do the things you like to do. Read a book, go for a run, bubble bath with candles and a glass of wine or visit with a friend: Do anything you can to bring yourself joy.
- Sleep your way to the top. Get more sleep. While stress may keep you awake do the best you can to get lots of sleep.
- Take a digital detox. If you are in a high conflict divorce the email and text traffic from you X will not be beneficial to focus on 24/7. So be disciplined and only look at and or respond one time during the day. If you are the party firing off a dozen emails a day to your X, take a break, let you mind and soul rest. Everything can wait. Sometimes a break can stop a heated exchange and if you do not respond immediately it will not reward the behavior.
- Keep Learning. Great idea during you divorce. Learning something will re-focus your brain. It will also bolster your self esteem and make you feel great.
- Listen to your inner voice. Your gut instincts are usually right. If it doesn’t feel right it isn’t right. Sleep on decisions that feel wrong. Write the email and then don’t send it until you have had a chance to cool down. This is so important. At the end of your divorce you want to be able to hold your head high that your did the right thing.
- Act like a child. Letting yourself enjoy something with the joy of a child is a great stress breaker. I love to go to the beach and see the sun rise (east coast), west coast try sun set. Go play with your dog or take a walk in the woods. Whatever gives you pleasure will help you re-focus.
- Find solitude. Meditation is so powerful. During divorce the brain is on overdrive so finding even 5 minutes to sit and let your mind calm down will do wonders. Think of your brain as a computer. You need to shut down the multiple operating programs to allow the “computer” to power down, same with your mind. Meditation will do that. Check out Deepak Chopra’s website for lots of great content
- Give back to your community. Volunteering or merely doing something kind for a stranger will make you feel good. Your endorphin levels rise when you do something kind for someone. Getting involved in a charitable organization will get you out there and away from your worries.
Ten things might to heard to do all at once, so do one each day. When one idea feels easy and is part of your routine, incorporate another. Have hope and be strong. Divorce passes and you will make it through.