It can be a very tough time going through a separation, divorce, or family breakdown. You might feel like you have lost control and don’t know what to do next.
You may feel angry and sad, scared about the future, or unsure how to parent your children. This can all add up to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
There is no quick fix to cope with separation. But there are some things that can help you deal with it better:
Avoid spending too much time alone
Try not to spend too much time alone at home or work, as this can worsen feelings of loneliness. If possible, arrange for someone to pop by for a chat or invite them out for coffee or lunch so you don’t feel isolated.
Try to sleep well and eat well
This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself in the first few weeks after separation. A good night’s sleep and eating regular meals will help you feel better emotionally and physically.
Keep up your hobbies and interests
It’s important to have something to look forward to. It might be as simple as a trip to the library or a walk in the park, but it can help keep your mind off things.
Get outside and enjoy nature
Research shows that spending time in nature can reduce stress levels, increase creativity, and improve our sense of wellbeing. So take a walk through the park, go for a run or a cycle ride, or just sit on the beach and listen to the waves crash against the sand – whatever it takes for you to relax!
Get support from friends or family
The people who love and care about you will be there for you when you need them most. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings, even if it’s hard at first. You’ll feel better once you’ve expressed your emotions.
Make sure you have access to all the important documents that relate to your relationship or marriage. This includes your marriage certificate, legal documents and financial records and agreements. If there are any disputes about these issues, it will be easier for you to prove what is true if you have copies of these documents to hand.
Find ways to relax
Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing. Try to find time each day to relax and unwind. Meditation can be particularly helpful for managing stress and anxiety.
Give yourself time to grieve for the relationship
It’s normal to feel sad, angry or confused when a relationship ends, especially if children are involved. If you’re worried about how your children are coping with the separation, ask their school counsellor for advice on how best to support them.
Don’t rush into new relationships
You may feel the urge to move on from your relationship or marriage quickly by dating again, but don’t rush into another relationship. Give yourself time to grieve and adjust to being a single person in the world again. Take care of yourself first, then start looking for someone else when you’re ready.
Don’t stay in the past
It’s easy to get stuck in the past and focus on what went wrong or why you and your partner split. But the truth is that dwelling on what’s happened won’t change anything. It will just make things worse. Instead, focus on looking ahead and moving forward with your life.
Breakups aren’t easy. You have good days and bad days. Even so, it is helpful to have a list of positive steps that you can take to keep yourself moving forward in the right direction. We hope this short guide gives your some ideas of how you can better look after yourself after separation.