Guest Blog by Sunny McMillan
As a former attorney and current master life coach who assists adults considering or going through divorce, my clients often express a fear that the divorce process will be high conflict and devastating.
While there is no shortage of evidence of bad divorces in the media or even among the stories of family and friends, this does not have to be your reality.
There is much you can do to help create a good divorce. As you navigate the process, the following (over three posts) are just a few suggestions that may assist you in making it a bit more graceful.
Your Divorce is More Than a Legal Proceeding
Whether you decide to engage a mediator, pursue collaboration, or go the traditional litigation route, the divorce process may at times be difficult and tiresome.
You may simply want your divorce finalized as quickly as possible so you can move on. However, it is important to remember that your divorce encompasses more than the legal proceedings alone.
There are mental, emotional, and physical aspects to consider, as well. By paying attention to all these elements, you stand a much better chance of emerging from your divorce healthy, whole, and ready to embrace your new life.
Based not only on what my clients have shared, but also on my own personal divorce story, it is not uncommon to experience mood swings and uncomfortable feelings during divorce. You may be mentally and physically weary from time to time, requiring more rest than normal.
You may find it difficult to concentrate or give your full attention to your work or outside interests. You may even feel a bit overwhelmed at certain points.
During these times, it is vital to practice good self-care. You may equate self-care with pampering activities, such as a massage or pedicure, and it certainly can include these things. However, it encompasses so much more.
Self-care is any action that contributes to your health and well-being, including simplifying your schedule, getting enough sleep, eating nourishing food, practicing mindfulness and self-compassion, journaling, or unplugging from technology.
You may also wish to seek support from outside sources. Engaging a divorce coach or mental health professional familiar with the process can help you manage the parts of your divorce that fall outside the jurisdiction of the law, such as the emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual components.
This is a perfect opportunity to work through some of the painful thoughts and tough emotions that may come up during your divorce.
While the squelched intensity of repressed emotions such as despair, anger, and worry can cause numerous physiological problems (e.g., psychosomatic illnesses, addictions, insomnia, and neuroses), by addressing and not suppressing, you set yourself up for a positive new chapter once the proceedings are finalized.
You, and often any family or friends who have been affected by the process, will benefit greatly from the transformational work you do during your divorce.
Sunny Joy McMillan is a former attorney and current practicing master life coach who did her training and certification with Dr. Martha Beck. Find out more and download a free copy of her book, Unhitched, by visiting: www.unhitchedbook.com.