There are many challenges that we face in life and there are ones that make a significant impact on our lives. Going through a separation is one of those stressful events in life that can really take their toll.
Take care of yourself
It goes without saying that you need to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing during this transitional period in your life.
Ensure that you are kind to yourself and to your body. Take time out to exercise, eat well and relax. If you keep to your normal routines as much as possible, it will help you to cope with the changes. Try to avoid making major decisions or changes in life plans. Don’t use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes as coping mechanisms, as they often mean that you’ll end up on a slippery slope where you come to rely on them.
Reach out for support
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can do this alone. It’s really important that you share your feelings with friends and family, who can help you get through this period. Those close to you will want to offer their support and a shoulder to cry on, should you need it. It’s also worth joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations and gather strength from like-minded people.
Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.
Keep children out of the conflict
It’s often hard to completely avoid, as separations can often involve bad feelings between people. Children can pick up on this, which can make them confused and unhappy about the situation – and often they will blame themselves for the break-up.
Try to avoid arguing in front of them or talking negatively about the other parent in front of the children. It can be problematic if there are problems with custody and father’s rights, but it remains crucial that you remember that it’s not fair to encourage them to take sides or resent one parent over the other.
To best support them during this time, you should remind them that they are loved by both parents and that you want them to express any worries and feelings that they have about the separation.
Your children’s ages will play a great part on how well they process the changes and how much they understand, so the most important aspect you can keep, is their normal routines and activities – to keep a sense of normality to their lives.
The power of positivity can count for a lot, although it’s not always easy to get yourself in the right mindset for this. Things may not be the same, but finding new activities and friends, and moving forward with reasonable expectations will make this period of transition easier to go through.
You need to keep things as flexible as you can. Family traditions are still important to maintain but of course some of them may need to be adjusted because of the separation. It’s also a new chapter and a good time to start some new traditions on your path ahead.