Suggesting for Coping With Divorce

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to suggest activities that may help you cope with and move on from a divorce. This article is a NOT individualized professional advice and was not written by a therapist. If you are having difficulty coping with divorce, we suggest that you consult with a licensed healthcare professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Defining Your Visual Image

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Divorce can drastically influence the amount and types of interpersonal interaction when decisions are made concerning re-entering the workforce and re-entering the dating scene. 

Creating a Brand: You

Janel Dyan, Inc., a Brand & Style Consultancy based in the Bay Area, recommends that when women rediscover who they are, they can redefine themselves while moving forward. Working to blend fashion sense, technology and brand savviness, Janel Dyan helps women learn how to elevate their personal brand with confidence. 

A woman’s style on the job communicates a brand as much as logos, graphics and taglines.  In fact, how you dress communicates faster than any other part of your brand.  Her appearance is read instantly and unconsciously by audiences as markers of capability, professionalism and success. - Janel Lehman, President & Founder

Janel notes that women store a lot of emotion in their clothing. That emotion, even if it's subconscious, can really affect a woman’s energy when they open their closets and when they wear certain pieces. 

When rediscovering herself, as a new chapter in life begins, it is absolutely vital for a woman to know what's in her closet and how it's affecting her emotions, her energy, and the way she’s presenting herself to the world. Confidence and natural ease of a well-styled woman transforms her entire presentation so that her talent and accomplishments can be clearly seen.

Whether a woman feels ready to take on the world or lost and confused -- the point is that that woman’s life is no longer how she pictured it would be. She now has two options: accept what is or define what will be.

Here are Janel’s recommended first steps that a woman should take in this situation:

Take everything out of your closet. Everything. Lay it all out in front of you. Then, take a look at it all and find the pieces that bring you joy...that make you smile..that allow you to remember an event that brought you laughter. THOSE are the items that go back into your closet. THOSE are the pieces that you wear moving forward.

Put all the other items in bags--trash bags, tote bags--and move them out of your room. Do not look at them or wear them for two weeks. How do you feel? Lighter? Happier? Now...pay it forward. Take those bags and donate to a charity that helps other women, that can bring joy to others. Empowerment paid forward.

Janel notes, “You do not need permission, you do not need to wait. You are ready to do this, because you have to.”

Preparing for Interviews

We spoke with bi-coastal personal stylist Meg Gallagher for perspective on reentering the workforce:

For those moving through divorce, returning to the workforce is often a necessity to regain financial security, insurance and independence. The process can be overwhelming if you’ve been out of your industry for a long time or are looking to enter a new profession. But before you start networking and interviewing, put some thought into your visual appearance. 

First impressions based on posture, facial expressions and overall appearance are made within the first six seconds of meeting someone. Make these first six seconds count by thoughtfully planning out how you want to be perceived. Are you a leader? An innovator? A creative? Or something else entirely? How will your wardrobe, style and body language best reflect what you want to project? How have work culture and dress codes in your profession changed over the years? 

To answer some of these questions, here’s a strategy to prep yourself for your first networking coffee or interview:

  • Think about what you want people to notice first about you. Modern and current wardrobe styling should be first and foremost on your mind. Tailor any quality pieces you own so that they are current in silhouette. Slimming the sleeve on an aging blazer can breathe new life into it.
  • Define your career wardrobe budget. What can you afford and where can you shop?
  • What position do you desire? Don’t be afraid to aim high and dress for that possibility.
  • As you go through your closet, make a list of needs. Do you have basic professional pieces to network and interview?  A rule of thumb is to have three interview looks in case you have multiple meetings at one company.  The interview outfits should be stylish, although not distracting.
  • Add in stylish shoes, bag and accessories to define your personal style and finish your professional look. Be careful that your accessories do not distract or are overtly large or bling-y.
  • If this process seems daunting, seek the help of a friend or hire a professional stylist. 

Although returning to the workforce requires effort, the rewards are great, both personally and financially. With a defined visual image, you’ll feel confident walking into an interview and landing your dream job.

Meditation

meditating woman for moving past divorce article

Meditation helps practitioners train their minds to, among other things, achieve relaxation and calmness. The practice of meditation has been around for several thousand years and has even been incorporated into religions such as Buddhism. By relaxing through meditation, many practitioners have been able to relax their minds and help alleviate certain health issues such as depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Meditation can be done in any number of positions, including sitting, standing, kneeling, etc. Additionally, almost all forms of meditation involve some sort of regulated breathing which will help slow the heart rate and calm the mind. 

There are many types of meditation out there, so it’s best to explore different types to find which will work best for you. They can include classical forms such as Tai Chi or more modern systems such as Transcendental Meditation.

Yoga

man doing yoga resting in childs pose

Yoga was developed around 5,000 years ago and comes from the Hindu spiritual tradition. Practicing yoga involves controlling one’s breath, meditation, and a variety of body poses. Many people practice yoga for relaxation and to help achieve a number of health benefits. For example, if you are afflicted by joint and muscle pain, yoga may be a good way to help soothe those ailments. Yoga has become a more mainstream practice in the U.S. over the past several decades and is routinely offered by traditional gyms.

There are different types of yoga which have branched out over time, so it’s best to try them and find the one which best suits your practice. Don’t worry about whether you’re choosing the right one or not, in the end all approaches to yoga have the goal of promoting wellbeing.

Setting New Goals 

When faced with difficult times, it’s best to try and find opportunities to change for the better. There are many successful entrepreneurs out there who have said that a short-term disaster (such as getting fired from a job) opened to the door to new and better opportunities. And, while divorce can be a traumatic experience for a person, it may also be a good time to try and set new life goals. Have you always wanted to write the Great American Novel? What’s stopping you? Have you always dreamed of visiting Paris? Why not go ahead and plan that trip now?

Additionally, it may be a good time to try and find a mentor or consult with a life/career coach to help you figure out a path forward. There are many people out there get “stuck in a rut” and setting new goals can help give you a sense of renewed sense of purpose and meaning. Amber Valdez, The Life Purpose Cheerleader, says people who reach out to her are often "unhappy with their relationship" and want "to heal from the pain of divorce." 

The materials available for Valdez's favorite tool is readily available and in many homes. “'Stickie affirmations' utilize positive and empowering statements written on sticky notes and are placed throughout our daily life to support us in re-framing our negative thoughts." They help by "updating and re-programming those non-serving beliefs, lies, fears and habits." 

Therapy

The choice whether or not to engage a therapist can be difficult for some people. But, rest assured that there’s no shame in seeking out the help of a good therapist. Some people are intimidated by the process, but just keep in mind that there are millions of people who have benefited from therapy. One key is to find a therapist you feel comfortable with and who can help you work through the issues troubling you. 

Also, therapy is more than just talking with your therapist and sometimes there will be “homework,” which may include tracking your moods, keeping a journal, or pushing yourself to engage in social activities that have been difficult for you in the past. 

Hypnotherapy

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Hypnotism in general has been in use since ancient Greece and Egypt to treat a variety of conditions and it’s uncertain whether such techniques were effective. However, modern "clinical or therapeutic hypnosis is quite different than the stage hypnosis with which many are familiar," says Certified Hypnotherapist Dr. Nancy Irwin. "My philosophy is that everyone knows what they need. I begin the initial session by fully explaining scientifically how the mind works, and the body simply follows. I listen and then 'reprogram' their unconscious."

When is hypnotherapy most helpful? Dr. John McGrail, author of The Synthesis Effect, says, "Since hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that creates an open, receptive state of mind, it can be used as a powerful tool to effect and facilitate personal change, growth and transformation across a wide array of behavioral, emotional, physical and even spiritual issues." He continues, " I work to help young people overcome issues like bed-wetting, separation anxiety, night terrors, boosting self-confidence, and improving performance in the arts, academics and athletics. With older clients--adolescents to adults--I've dealt with issues like overcoming unwanted and or unhealthy habits, erasing fears and phobias, eliminating chronic stress and anxiety, developing spirituality, managing physical pain, and dealing with the emotional pain and grief associated with relationships that are either challenged or even over."

New Hobby

When it comes down to it, a hobby is anything you do for fun in your free time. It can be an effective way to alleviate stress, meet new people, and provide a creative outlet. Odds are that you can find other people interested in almost any hobby you’re interested in. There are literally thousands and thousands of different hobbies in the world just waiting for you to find. Here are just a few simple hobbies that you could start doing immediately: writing, painting, swimming, reading, stamp collecting, running, etc. Check out different hobbies online and see if any of them call to you. And, chances are that there are a group or two out there dedicated to any hobby that you find.

Be More Social

people being social

Socializing with others can offer many physical and mental health benefits. These benefits can include a longer life, greater physical health, greater mental health, and possibly lowering the risk of dementia. Forming and reinforcing existing social bonds is a valuable tool in coping with stressful times, especially divorce. One easy method is to reach out and reconnect with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while, like your old college roommate or a cousin who lives in another state. In addition, services such as Skype and FaceTime have made it much easier for people to stay in touch face-to-face.

Relax at the Spa

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Never underestimate the power of a good massage (or manicure and pedicure, for that matter). Spas have become so popular that a 2006 survey by the International Spa Association (ISPA) found that around 25% of all U.S. adults (approx. 57 million people) and up to 4 million teens have visited a spa at least once. The benefits of visiting a spa are pretty self-evident: alleviating stress and easing sore muscles and joints. As you probably know, stress is a leading cause of many mental and physical health issues and can surface in many different ways. A quick visit to the spa can be an easy and affordable way to relax.