After a Breakup or Divorce: 4 Tips for Dealing with the ‘Practical’ Decisions

It’s undeniable that the emotional toll that a relationship breakup, separation or divorce can take on you can be intense and even debilitating at times. What is also undeniable is that there are probably quite a few more practical decisions that you’ve also got on your mind.

In the midst of tears, anger and grief about the breakup, you may also be dealing with worries about how you will financially support yourself, how you will care for your home and children by yourself among other possible concerns.

It’s probable that, when you two were together, you relied on your partner in very various ways. This naturally occurs for both people in a love relationship or marriage.

As independent as you may have thought you were, now that you are living alone, there are some obvious
holes. These are the chores and responsibilities that your ex may have taken care of that you will need to figure out how to take care of.

This realization can heap even more stress and anguish on you. Being overwhelmed and fearful about these practical concerns will not help your healing.

By all means, acknowledge it if you feel afraid or stressed out.

At the same time, don’t believe that you have to stay in that place. You CAN make decisions about how you will handle the practical chores and responsibilities that are now up to you alone.

And, the potential silver lining in all of this is you can boost your healing and overall sense of self confidence as you show yourself that you CAN do this.

Here are 4 tips to help you handle your worries about practical matters…

#1: Keep making time for your emotional healing.

Don’t make the mistake of setting aside your emotional needs as you try to adapt to the possibly new demands on you.

Yes, it might seem really difficult to make time for tears and feelings when you’re figuring out some serious– and maybe even basic survival– practical matters. It’s just as important to make even a small amount of regular time for just you and your emotions.

If you can only find a few minutes once a day or 10 minutes once a week, take that time. Sit quietly and try to clear your mind and just breathe. The feelings that you have been trying to keep at bay will undoubtedly come up and you can let them move through you.

Believe it or not, regularly allowing yourself to focus in on your emotional healing will help you be more present and clear to the decisions about practical matters that you are making now.

Our “How to heal your broken heart” program gives tips on moving forward with your life.

#2: Prioritize and streamline.

As you face the chores and responsibilities that you now have to add to what you’ve always done, we urge you to prioritize and streamline.

This is the perfect time to assess the way that you have been living your life. Perhaps the extensive garden that you and your ex always had will be put on hold, at least for now. Maybe you will choose to move to a smaller place.

Make a list of the chores and responsibilities that you normally do and those that your ex used to do including home care, child care, financial concerns and other practical matters.

Now, as you read through the list, start to circle those that are a high priority to you– these are things that you are unwilling to let slide.

Go through your list a second time and put a different mark next to those things that are important to you, but not as big a priority as those items you circled.

Don’t weigh yourself down with a whole bunch of  “shoulds” or guilt as you make this priority list. Give yourself the freedom to consider what’s truly the most important to you and what’s less important.

Know that you can always re-evaluate this as you go along.

As you assess this list, be on the lookout for anything that you are ready to stop doing and let go of. This streamlining can lighten your load and also help with overwhelm.

#3: Take it one thing, one day at a time.

An effective way to handle feeling overwhelmed and possibly fearful is to focus more of your attention on the short-term. There might be some long-term decisions that you need to take care of. Do this and then bring your attention back to the moment– this day or this week.

Chunking it down can really help ease the stress and pressure you may feel.

At any one time, you can hone in on a few of your priorities and figure out your next action regarding them and– for the moment– think less (or not at all) about the other things that you’d like to get done.

Then, the next time you sit down for some planning, direct your attention to another set of a few priorities.

Keep reminding yourself that not only do you not have to take care of all of these practical concerns right this minute, it is literally impossible to do so.

Play around with some ways to remind yourself to take it one thing, one day at a time.

#4: Remember your support.

Now more than ever, it’s essential for you to have a support team upon whom you can rely. You might feel too proud to ask anyone for help. It may be uncomfortable and seem to go against your nature to do this.

Urge yourself to do it anyway.

You can congratulate yourself for stepping up, getting organized and doing more for yourself than you’ve ever done before. At the same time, you can acknowledge it when bringing in an extra set of hands or someone who has more experience than you is beneficial.

Return to your priority list and identify at least 3 things that you feel less sure that you can do by yourself.

Then, think about the people that you know or those in your community who have this expertise or offer these services.

You might decide that you will hire someone to take care of a particular task for you or you may be able to arrange a barter or trade with the expert you have in mind.

Get creative and open up to support of all kinds. This will also help you feel empowered and will boost your healing.

For a free mini-course on getting over a relationship breakup or divorce, click here.

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