Separating from your spouse, with the intention to divorce in the future, is one of the most turbulent experiences any person will encounter. In such a circumstance, the sheer upheaval and upset can be incredibly difficult to process – even if you know that, in the long term, you are doing the right thing. Here are four things to keep in mind during the early days of your separation. These all focus on helping you to protect your mental and emotional well-being after a separation.
Protect Your Well-Being After A Separation
Keep doing what you would normally do
Separation is a radical change to the way you live your everyday life. Many people find that their normal habits and routine are inevitably disturbed by the process. This tip for protecting your well-being after a separation is invaluable. As far as you possibly can, try to keep doing what you have always done: eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, spend time with your friends and family, and have fun with your children. There is a comfort in familiar behaviors, so maintaining the same routine can be extremely beneficial.
Give yourself time to research the next steps
When you and your spouse first separate, it can be tempting to move ahead with divorce proceedings as soon as possible. However, unless there is a direct reason to do this, it’s preferable to give yourself time. The process of legally ending a marriage requires a huge amount of research. Try to keep this process as simple as possible. Spend some time reading your state’s uncontested divorce infographic. Brush up on the specific laws for your state, and then back away. Let the facts you have learned sink in before moving on to the next step. Not rushing things will definitely help protect your mental and emotional well-being after a separation. Knowing that you have time to think things through will help you in making smart decisions.
Seek professional support
It is natural to rely heavily on your friends and family during a separation. However, most people find that an external support can be invaluable. A therapist or counselor can focus on assisting you with how you are feeling from an entirely objective perspective. They have never met your spouse, so there’s no complicated history or loyalties at play.
Resolutely look forward
It is entirely understandable that, during a separation, people think back over their marriage and try to identify where things went wrong. In fact, this process can often be useful, and helps to guide people towards closure – in the long term. In the short term, try to avoid ruminating on your marriage. Instead guide your thoughts towards the days to come. If your thoughts begin to wander to the past, gently mentally redirect and focus instead on an event in the future that you are looking forward to. If these thoughts persist, then it can be helpful to write them down. Then set them aside to think about more in depth at a later date.
It is almost impossible to ever make separation feel “easy”, but the above can help to ensure you can make it through the process with your well-being preserved and can subsequently look forward to a brighter future.