Is Checking Your Emotional Pulse The Key To Dealing With Divorce?
“I am in the divorce process up to my elbows. I have paperwork for my lawyer, deadlines for my job, parent conferences for my kids, friends coming for dinner. I have a birthday party to plan, a lawn to mow, a dog with fleas. I haven’t slept more than five hours a night for months. My grey hairs are coming in with a vengeance and my skin is breaking out. Most of the food in my refrigerator looks like science experiments. I have no idea of world events, latest movies, or current songs. I have to get my kids to soccer practice, karate and guitar lessons. I have grocery shopping, vet appointments, orthodontics appointments, child therapy appointments, ob-gyn appointments. I have appointments with my lawyer, my accountant, my therapist. I have appointments with my children’s lawyers and therapists. I even have an appointment to sit down and talk with my soon to be ex- husband about vacation schedules! I need to get the house painted. The car is making a clanking noise of undeterminable origin. The dishwasher is leaking. My kids came home with head lice. The dog vomited on the carpet.”
So, how are you doing? It is hectic and chaotic, but you aren’t an emotional wreck anymore, are you? Remember the days before the divorce began and you vacillated between hope, fear, revulsion, confusion, depression, denial and terror? This may be an overwhelming time still filled with unknowns, and while there are a zillion things to do, there is no one threatening you, blaming you, hurting you, holding you back. There is no need to “walk on eggshells.”
This is a good time to take your emotional pulse and recognize that while things are difficult, they are easier than they used to be. Now, you have both up days and down days, and gradually, there will be even more up than down times. Life will always have those rough patches, but now you know that you have options and choices about how you live your life, and therefore, your life can be the one you choose it to be.
Divorce Grown-Up Time Out To Reduce Stress
Remember to stop frequently throughout this process and take your emotional pulse. If it feels out of whack, take a Grown-Up Time Out- take a bubbly bath, giggle with a friend, strike a yoga pose, lie down in the cool grass, listen to the birds sing, run through a sprinkler or indulge in an ice cream cone-whatever helps soothe you. It may feel counterintuitive-with so much to do, shouldn’t you just keep going? A Grown-Up Time Out can renew, replenish and restore your equilibrium, thus improving your focus while reducing your stress. When you take time to care for yourself it restores your clarity, makes it easier to care for others and makes this process a little more manageable.
© 2012 Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist in private practice and is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback. This article was also posted on her excellent blog titled, “Dealing with Divorce? Take your Emotional Pulse“ on July 8, 2012. To read more about the author and her work, please visit www.donnaferber.com
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Guest Contributor Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC
Donna F. Ferber, is a psychotherapist in private practice for 28 years. She is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor and an educator. Donna works with individuals and in groups. Her office is in Farmington, Connecticut.