When your own well-being is taken care of, you will be in a better position to make good decisions for your family and yourself.
Seek Social Support
When you are going through difficult times, you may feel like withdrawing socially and only relying on yourself. However, practising self-care is also about asking for help and receiving support that can help you get back on your feet again.
Reach out and seek the help of family and friends to support you in specific ways, such as providing you with compassion and understanding during this difficult time. Planning enjoyable activities with your family and friends can fill your time meaningfully and improve your mood. You could also reach out for their help in tangible ways, for example, talking with them or seeking their help to keep interactions between you and your spouse conflict-free. You can also draw on their support to help your child cope with the divorce. Remember, you do not have to do this alone.
Those with spiritual beliefs may find it helpful to approach your religious leaders for support or engage in activities such as meditation or prayer with your religious communities.
Alternatively, you may also wish to join a support group to connect with individuals who have gone through similar experiences as you. Together you can help one another stay on track with your self-care goals. Support groups and programmes are available at Strengthening Families Programme@Family Service Centres (FAM@FSCs) and Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs).
Seeing a counsellor is a recommended way of seeking the support you may need, or working through some issues with a professional. Additionally, you may consider bringing your children for counselling.
COMMUNICATING YOUR DIVORCE TO OTHERS
For some, communicating the process of divorce to those around them can be daunting, and you may feel vulnerable when sharing your situation with others. However, opening up to those around you can allow you to manage your stress better and bolster your social support.
Managing your self-disclosure is important in a workplace setting. Confiding in colleagues you trust about this major change that you are going through can help them support you better. Informing your HR or manager about your divorce, while keeping in line with company policies, can be helpful for accessing the support that you need. However, you may wish to only confide in colleagues whom you trust.
Family can be an important source of support for you and your children. It is healthy for your children to sustain existing relationships with their grandparents and aunts and uncles on both sides of the family, and you may wish to communicate this to your extended family. Take some time to sit with close family members to tell them what is happening. You can share with them some helpful ways that they can help you and your children cope better (e.g. by not taking sides, helping to provide transport for visitation etc). Alternatively, you may choose to create some space from your extended family members for a time if needed.
Apart from family members, you may also find some friends siding with either you or your spouse. Certain friendships may be lost in the divorce process. Seek out trusted friends who will stick by you and support you throughout the journey. It is important not to isolate yourself as you grapple with your divorce.
Pause and Reflect
Is there anyone you can trust to talk to?
What are some other avenues of help that you can turn to?
What are some of the concerns you have about seeking professional help for yourself or your children?
Do What You Enjoy