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Coping with Divorce: How to Make It Less Traumatic

Coping with Divorce: How to Make It Less Traumatic

Divorce is never easy or pleasant, even when both parties are reasonably amenable. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot take steps to make the entire experience more palatable, both in practical and emotional sense – and here are some suggestions on how to do so.

1. Learn Everything You Can About Your Joint Finances

Statistics show that about 40% of all divorce proceedings are mainly about money and property. So, if you want the things to go your way, you should be as aware of what your family owns as possible. Shared accounts and the passwords to them, investments, automatic payments, investment advisors and how to contact them – you should know all this information before you go to the court.

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2. Hire a Proper Lawyer

In choosing divorce lawyers, their reputation is probably even more important when you need legal advice for any other matter. You see, there is a breed of divorce lawyers that aren’t as much interested in helping you in settling the matters peaceably as prolonging the proceedings as much as possible, bloating up your fees and having you fight until the bitter end, making mortal enemies out of you and your former spouse even if you were on reasonably friendly terms before. When you hire a lawyer, you should find out how his former cases went and to what conclusions they came. You want a lawyer that predictably provides quick solutions that are fine by everyone.

3. Keep Copies of All Your Financial Records

Tax returns, account statements, life insurance info, stock certificates, receipt for the purchase of some costlier items, anything you can imagine – it is better to keep all these things around readily available and carefully hidden from your spouse. When you have documental proof, it is much easier to prove yourself to be in the right.

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4. Define Your Living Expenses

Your financial standing after the divorce is going to influence your life for a long, long time, probably for the entirety of your life. This means that decisions you make now are among the most important you are going to make, ever. Mistakes made due to lack of understanding or insufficient information are going to follow you around for years. Thus, defining your financial standing after the divorce is among the first things you have to find out. Figure out your current living expenses, in detail – if you don’t know what exactly you need, you cannot demand it in court and risk getting a poor settlement.

5. Expect Unexpected Expenses

You may think you’ve calculated all the potential costs of such a sudden change in your life, but reality is often different from what we expect, and problems may lurk around every corner. Try to keep a certain sum – at least $5,000 – set aside for such situations, and you will be ready for most of what life has to throw your way.

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6. Don’t Make Drastic Financial Decisions

People going through a divorce and feeling the consequence of this process are often prone to making rash, impulsive decisions not only in personal affairs but in financial and vocational spheres as well. Changing jobs, moving to another city or state, selling assets, things of this kind. If you are feeling an urge to do so, don’t. Wait it out. If the desire remains in half a year’s time, go through with it. But most likely you will grow out of it.

It is impossible to make divorce enjoyable – but it is more than possible to turn it into just another fact of life, an obstacle you have to overcome. It doesn’t need to be life-breaking – it all depends on how you behave.

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Featured photo credit: https://morguefile.com via morguefile.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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