Music has an overwhelming ability to affect our emotions and alter our state of mind, both adversely and positively.
At times when the dreaded divorce paperwork is bearing down upon you, or you have an inordinate amount of form filling in to do, it can help enormously if you have something playing in the background that soothes you while you do so.
You probably know what genre of music is likely to work best for you and if you are unable to invest in a new collection, explore the music section in your local library and seek out back catalogues from your favourite bands, or perhaps try something completely different, put the records on and ease the process.
Major changes to your daily routine following a separation, can leave you with pockets of time you’d rather not have empty.
Any upheaval is likely to be part of a temporary phase and you will undoubtedly have nice events to look forward to in the not too distant future, Christmas being an obvious one.
The problem is, the bit between now and then can often feel like a gaping chasm.
Find a local charity who you affiliate with and donate a few of your spare hours to them. They will be delighted to receive your assistance and it’ll give you lots of fresh activities to occupy your mind and hands which is no bad thing.
It’ll also open the door to a flock of new people and interaction with like-minded volunteers will create a healthy and healing environment for your mind to reside in.
It might be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but whatever stage of divorce you are scraping through at the moment, try to find one element of humour in it.
It might be in the ridiculous set of excuses your ex gave you as they threw all the toys out of their pram in your final argument. It might even be in the mad physical circumstances in which you caught them betraying you, but somewhere deep in your story, there is a flash of funny.
Find it and hold onto it.
Exploring dark humour – as it is likely to be during a divorce – might end up being a useful coping mechanism to get you through the stickier parts of the process.
You never know until you try it.
It can be a bamboozling task trying to make long-term financial decisions about any capital you may find yourself in receipt of, post-divorce.
Whilst you must recognise that we are are not IFAs, if you are in the UK you might like to consider putting your money into NS&I Premium Bonds in the short term, while you have a think about what you want to do. Instead of paying interest, the NS&I hold monthly prize draws with a �1 million jackpot and over a million smaller denomination cash prizes.
The organisation is backed by HM Treasury so you can sit confidently in the knowledge that all the money you invest in Premium Bonds is 100% secure whether or not you win a prize.
Once you’ve received some sound independent financial advice on how to best invest for your future and made an informed decision on what you want to do, you can cash the Bonds in immediately and get the full lump sum you invested back out, ready to reinvest as you choose.
Safe short-term plans are secure and comforting while you’re recovering from the bizarre madness of divorce.
NB: Seek qualified independent financial advice on what to do and do not put it all under the mattress!
The other side of breaking up it can be hard to imagine yourself as anything lovable, however, you should try to learn to love every inch of you, including any wrinkly, saggy, old, achy or well worn bits.
Collectively, they go to make up the whole that is you and you’re deserved of love in the highest degree. This best starts with recalibrating the view we have of ourselves and loving who we are.
Invest in a long, hot relaxing bath with some of your favourite aromatherapy oils in the water, lavender and rose geranium are soothing and healing. Add a little music and gentle lighting and wash your body slowly, don’t miss a crease.
You need to understand that you are worthy of patience and self love, before you worry about anybody else filling that void.
If you’ve used the services of the Child Support Agency or a similar organisation to claim monies from an errant or absent parent to help you raise your child/ren, you’ll know that keeping on top of the paperwork is paramount.
If you think you may end up going down this route, heed this tip as a cautionary prompt to get prepared and get organised.
Mark down the nights the child/ren stay with you and keep hold of receipts for anything you purchase for them such as school uniform, payments for school trips and so on.
Also, ensure you keep an eye on whether the other parent lives up to the amount of nights they advise the CSA they plan to have the child/ren in their overnight care. It’s easy for them to promise one thing and for the dates to go down and your expenses to ramp up.
By keeping the authorities informed of what’s been going on, you’ll be one step ahead of the game and hopefully a little closer to getting the help your child/ren are due
If you and your ex have young children, my empathetic heart goes out to you, I have a few too. Getting divorced is one thing, having to draw them into the morass of your divorce is quite another, however, if you have residence issues to resolve, you will have to.
There are two issues here: (a) practical ones covering technicalities like where they are going to sleep on which nights and therefore who is going to have the majority of parental responsibility in the eyes of the authorities and (b) emotional ones, like how you cope with their self imposed guilt for you splitting up, their sadness for missing parent A when they stay with parent B and many more, all of which are very common.
Every child is an individual, with personal needs and sadnesses. All you can do is your very best to listen to them, respect them and work towards alleviating or eliminating them. Do so with a willing heart but accept the fact that you may overcome some of the emotional battles, but you’re unlikely to win the war.
Give them love in abundant quantities through whatever mesh of difficulties or miles you have to and accept that may be all you can do.
If you are on the run up to leaving your soon-to-be-ex, be sure to compile a checklist of important documentation you need to take with you and tick every item off in turn.
Your birth certificate, your passport (and those for your children if applicable), also your driving license paperwork, key ID cards and papers, mortgage details, bank cards, cheque books and your marriage certificate, will be invaluable bits of paper in the months ahead.
You need your marriage certificate to file for divorce in the UK and I suspect in many other countries too.
It is possible to request certified copies of things, but it can be a costly affair and would throw unnecessarily delaying spanners in your works.
When you’re ‘up to your oxters’ (as Northern Irish people say) in divorce proceedings it can feel as though you have too much to do just keeping the normal routine going. It may seem strange to suggest it, but try taking on something new.
Importantly, make it something just for you. One of our team has recently taken to the boards in a play, whilst another has taken up singing.
There is something wonderful about taking part in a shared piece of magic. It can be an art class, a reading group, even joining a darts team, anything that is new and with a different group of people.
Your local library and notice boards are likely to have notices with details, or simply ask around in your newsagents or when buying groceries. Open your mind to something fresh, and the mass of tough things you still have on your list will seem just a little easier to manage.
Simple lifestyle changes can be good for you following enormous upheavals, but it’s not always easy to do a great deal when you don’t have a healthy budget to do so, however, your local library will be delighted to welcome you in.
Libraries are amazing spaces in which to indulge happy silence and that might be one of the things you’re craving amid all the noise that’s surrounding you.
It’s a safe space where you can bathe in the company of others at a comfortable distance and of course, spend time amongst all those beautiful books; what a wonderful way to while away a few hours.
You could probably sneak in a thermos and a few snacks for inexpensive sustenance, just be mindful of your trail of crumbs.