Guest article from Andrea Beadle
So many women in their 50s find themselves dealing with the aftermath of divorce and separation-we asked Andrea if she could offer some advice to midlife women on how to ‘move on’ after a divorce later in life and start rebuilding their lives:
There are very few people who haven’t been touched in some way by divorce or separation. Whether as a child experiencing the fallout from parents’ separation or as an adult experiencing it firsthand, separation can leave a lasting impression if we aren’t able to move on.
I’ve recently encountered many women who have been through or are going through a separation and the thing that strikes me is the difference in how people cope.
Why it is that a handful of women are able to move through separation with grace, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, see the lesson in the situation and move on despite the heartbreak, whereas at the other end of the spectrum there are women that just seem unable move on at all?
Some women spend too much time thinking about what they have lost
A few women remain stuck in their own movie; reliving the anger, resentment and bitterness of the break up and spend far too much time thinking about what they have lost or how they have been treated. They fall into a victim mentality, feeding on any attention they get from telling their story which becomes a broken record.
Worse still, when the ex moves on and has a relationship with another woman, they direct all their energy into feeling bitter and resentful that “she” is having the lifestyle that was once hers.
Obviously this illustrates the extreme cases but it helps to appreciate the huge difference in the way people deal with separation.
Here are my tips for coping with separation:
1) Acceptance: There is a beautiful quote which I think sums this up:
Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Being able to accept that you cannot change the situation can bring a huge sense of calm. Very often it is the battle we have to try and change things that causes us the biggest heartache. Accept where you are and look for the things you CAN change. It can make all the difference.
2) Choose your thoughts: Your thoughts influence your mood and your actions so reliving things in your head “beating yourself up” emotionally really doesn’t help. Notice negative thinking and tell yourself to STOP. If you can switch your thoughts to something more positive then do. If this is hard then try singing an uplifting song or try a running commentary in your head about what you are doing. You can only have one thought in your mind so choose the most positive you can manage.
3) Look for the positives: As hard as it might seem at the time, there is always something that you can learn from a situation. A girlfriend recently said that she realised she had been “set free to live her life without being controlled”. If you can see the gift in the situation it helps move you to a more positive state of mind. When you see the gift you can also see the lesson – in this case to be yourself in everything you do.
4) Self-care: Many women fall into the trap of taking care of everyone else without finding time to look after themselves ending up emotionally and physically drained. It is important to give yourself a higher priority and learn to love yourself again. Take time out to pamper yourself and remind yourself just how special you are. Spend a day at a spa or if you are on a tight budget give yourself a bubble bath and a manicure or go for a coffee with a friend. Treat yourself – you’re worth it!
5) Think Big: This could be your opportunity to re-think your life, to do all the things you always wanted. The only limits are those we place on ourselves so start dreaming of a bright future rather than wallowing in self pity thinking about all the things you can’t do.
6) Self-development: Rather than hiding away at home, think how you might use this opportunity to expand and become a better version of yourself. Re-connect with things that you love to do. Reading, painting, pottery, dancing – whatever takes your fancy. Doing something that lifts your spirits gives you a buzz and something to look forward to each day.
Emotional relief from anything comes one degree at a time. It is almost impossible to get from grief to joy overnight but it IS possible to feel a tiny bit better each day. Reach for a tiny improvement in your mood each day and you WILL feel better over time.
Andrea is a Law of Attraction life coach and mentor helping women who are at a major transition or crossroad in their lives. They might be feeling trapped in a job, struggling to find a work life balance, struggling with illness or any other life changing situation that leaves them feeling like they are trapped or have lost their way. Using a combination of coaching, mentoring and intuitive guidance she motivates and inspires them to kick start their lives, become more self aware and empowers them to take control of their lives again. http://andreabeadle.com