What’s normal to feel during a significant life change like separation/divorce?
Separation or divorce can turn our life and often our long term dreams upside down. It is a pivot in our personal life, which is a fundamental change in our life strategy that can bring you to the depths of despair and loneliness. We can experience waves of emotions such as angry, sad, anxious, hurt, embarrassed, happy and relieved. It is a new world for many to feel or even face and deal with these emotions that they may have never felt before.
‘Change is hardest in the beginning, messy in the middle and best at the end ‘– Robin Sharma.
What are the stages of change that someone might experience?
Addressing the stages of change in a healthy way often looks like this:
1. Start where you are by expressing the event, feel the pain, name it, own it and understand and be gentle with your emotions.
2. Assess and take stock of where we are now at, and learn the stages of grief so you can feel supported as you understand that you will have to go through the stages, and then develop your immediate survival plan.
3. Change continues on as you start the healing journey and once ready, you are able to start and plant some new seeds as you find your new normal.
How do you navigate these stages of change in light of separation?
- Stage 1 – Recognises and Respond – Stop and breathe, acknowledge your feelings and fear, embrace grief and choose your story
- Stage 2 – Restore and Recover – Sink into self care, renew and refuel, open the path to positivity and relinquish the past – know that you have got this
- Stage 3 – Redirect and Reset – Rebuild your foundation, plant new seeds, create a new roadmap with fresh vision for your life and start being the change you wish to see
- Stage 4 – Rejoice and Radiate – Embark on the journey, Embrace some joy again, claim back your personal power and celebrate your new wins.
What journaling questions can help during this time?
Journaling brings you back to you to discover what is most important and to unpack the feelings you are experiencing.
- What are your fears?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What are you learning about yourself?
- What are you grateful for today?
- What are you most proud of?
- Where do you see opportunities for improvement in your life?
- Write down one regret and lesson learnt for yourself?
- What do you need now to be content?
- What can you change right now that you are in control of?
- What affirmation will support me most right now?
- Write down 3 ways you are going to take care of yourself?
Is it possible to come out of a situation feeling 100% at peace?
Yes it is. The most important relationship we have in the world is the one we have with ourselves. Loving ourselves, treating ourself like we would a best friend as happiness is an inside job.
You can read more about getting your mental health back on track after separation here.
About the author
Shannah Kennedy is an advanced certified coach and NLP practitioner and author of the newly released book ‘Plan B’. It’s an honour to have Shannah share with us her tips for navigating change because we are well aware of how life changing separation is. We hope this insight helps guide you to a healthy way to navigate your separation journey as you look to your future life, filled with hope.
A compassionate and caring approach to family law
Our client care program looks to equip clients with similar information and support throughout separation and difficult family matters.
If this compassionate and supportive approach to separation and divorce is of interest to you as you navigate the legal system, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced lawyers for a free 20 minute consultation with a family lawyer.