When I fly and hear the safety instruction fix your own oxygen mask to your face, start breathing normally, THEN AND ONLY THEN can you turn your attention to helping others, I always think about much more than flight safety. The concept that you need to look after yourself first in times of crisis is critical for your own health and well-being. If you do not prioritize looking after yourself, you may quickly become a liability to those around you.
In stressful times, like during a divorce, it is easy to become so busy looking after others and handling false priorities that your own needs are left unmet and your health starts to unravel. Your own wellness should be your top priority. You are not much help to anyone, especially yourself and your loved ones, when you are not coping well. Like on the plane during a crisis, put on the mask and breathe in the oxygen, when you feel okay you will be able to decide how to proceed and can then reach out to help others.
Five positive coping strategies to try:
- Divorce, especially the initial separation, can be very overwhelming. Take each day and break everything into small manageable tasks. Keep breathing, slow down and simplify things. Cut out the unnecessary items in your schedule. Make routines and follow them to keep your decision-making energy for the things that matter most.
- Start to journal. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Writing helps to clarify the confusing emotions that may surface. Let yourself feel your emotions. Acknowledge how you feel and know it is normal to have polar opposite emotions that come and go in surges not unlike a roller coaster.
- Exercise your body to burn off the excess energy created by the stress. Pick an activity or sport you like and enjoy getting out in nature, being part of the team or just moving in solitude. Your body will thank you for the endorphins and your sleep will be more restful.
- Keep your sense of humor. Laugh as much as possible. Smiling and laughing, even if you are faking it, can cause positive changes in how you feel.
- Be kind to yourself and treat yourself like a best friend going through a tough transition. Give yourself a break! Forgive yourself, be gentle and patient and replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk. ˜You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection Buddha.
Written by: Pam Mirehouse, Pam Mirehouse Coaching
Pam Mirehouse is a health coach that specializes in helping people navigate through separation and divorce. Pam runs a website including a blog about separation and divorce issues. Please check out her blog atÂ http://theseparationproject.ca/blog/. Pam finds teaming up with clients to clarify goals, remove blocks and help create momentum in a positive direction is a true pleasure.
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