Divorce and Decision Making: How to Remain Calm
The divorce process can often be quite frightening and like a roller coast ride, fluctuating through loving memories and painful regrets. I have seen many clients become very engrossed with their legal issues in a way that can be frustrating and time consuming. How can we keep our emotions in check while making difficult decisions about dividing time with children, splitting holidays and splitting assets? In my ten years as a therapist, I have developed a set of three tools that help with the initial process of decision making and learning how to remain calm in the process.
1. Schedule a time for these decisions.
Give yourself a certain time each week to allot towards divorce changes, and try to stick to a schedule. This will help with boundaries of over thinking about your problems and letting it keep you from functioning at work or in other relationships. Try to make this time as relaxing as possible. Buy your favorite cheesecake or Starbucks smoothie to make it more appealing! Clarify what is essential for your mental health and also try to stick to a schedule and give time to yourself equal importance. For example—scheduling time to have coffee with dear friends again or going to that yoga class that totally chills you out. One of my clients has a night to have a planner come in and to create a list of healthy meals to create during the week and to organize. It is essential you keep your health and sanity in the most organized fashion possible.
2. When you feel confused and waffling on what to do-- give yourself time, and call it “I am getting CLEAR on my needs and what I want”. Have faith in the process.
If something is bothering you and you are having a bunch of anxious and overwhelming thoughts, use my new favorite word: CLARITY. Clarity sounds a lot more pleasant than “I hate how he is behaving and how I feel like I can’t stand up for myself in this situation”. Clarity moves our minds in a different direction. In treatment sessions, I encourage people to process “how can I gain clarity about which direction I should take with this?” This helps to emphasize a more positive direction. What are you seeking to gain and what would you like your life to look like? What feels right for me? There is an old saying, “crisis equals an opportunity”. It’s ok to sit and think about something and not respond to requests right away. Find the comfortable move and really turn over the problems in your mind. Investigate all the possible outcomes and paths you could take and envision the ideal outcome. If you are not sure, wait.
3. Try to breathe and meditate.
Meditation and breathing exercises can help immensely. You may need to focus more on your physical body while going through the stress of divorce. Our bodies are often easier to soothe than our minds. When feeling stressed or frazzled, try an app such as Calm or Headspace, and chill to a guided visualization or breathing exercise for 10 minutes. Return to your decision when your body feels calm, your heart rate is lowered, and your blood is flowing gently. Decisions should feel good. They should not feel rushed or harmful for you.
If there are too many problems on a day -to -day basis, try to increase the amount of meditation that you do daily. Sometimes people need more relaxation time. If you need further help, do not hesitate to invest in therapy. We sometimes need a little extra help in our lives to manage these overwhelming problems. Therapy can be an excellent emotional process that can optimize our decisions and functioning in life. A good therapist can help you stay well throughout the process and get a handle on what you are seeking in your new life.
For more information on therapy and the holistic program please feel free to contact us:
Primrose Healing and Wellness at (650) 425-3451 for a free phone consultation about how we can help meet your needs.
About the Author:
Brennan Fitzgerald is a licensed psychotherapist based in Silicon Valley. She is a relationship expert and has taken advanced training in energy, communication skills and in meditation treatments. She has worked as a yoga teacher and dancer and specializes in mindfulness, divorce, relationships and social skills training for clients working in the technology industry. She has worked with professional clients in holistic treatment centers and in hospitals all across the country, and has participated in Project Echo, a national project that assists Doctors and treatment teams to find the best method of treatment for difficult illnesses to treat psychologically. She currently works at Primrose Healing and Wellness, a holistic treatment center offering massage, mindfulness and reiki services with Dr. Deborah Simmons in Burlingame, CA.