If you are struggling emotionally, mentally or physically to adjust to your new situation, try hard to take a photograph of something beautiful every day.
Be that a spider on a cobweb from the dusting you haven’t done lately, or a flower poking through the weeds in the garden that you haven’t pulled up, or maybe a set of burnished brass studs on the leather chair in your solicitor’s office.
By keeping your focus on the beauty amongst the chaos, you’ll give yourself an interesting daily project that won’t take too long to accomplish and sometime soon, you’ll be able to look back on these images and recall what was going on at the time.
You’ll blink a metaphorical eye and your divorce will be part of your life’s history and eventually, the photographic record of the other things that were going on around you, might be a little more pleasing to peruse.
Try to let go of any plans of great substance you had with your ex partner.
Be they building a house from scratch, going on a world cruise, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. They are best laid to rest with the relationship.
However, you can now plough bountiful energy into re-hatching those plans, or better still, into forging entirely new adventures that better fit you and your new circumstances.
Conquering Mount Everest would give you an equally enormous sense of achievement and it would have the new you stamped all over it in glorious technicolour. Perhaps more importantly, it won’t have a tainted memory of, ‘Look what they missed’ attached to it either.
If you were the one who left your ex, regardless of the reasons why, it might be a good idea to brace yourself for potentially oppressive waves of guilt.
Not guilt for leaving them, but for feeling partially responsible for the ensuing chaos that followed your departure. You must let go of that feeling; it’s futile, all consuming and serves no purpose other than to elongate your pain.
Instead, try to focus your mind on the fact that you are free of the situation that caused you to leave in the first place, there may well be a few details to clear up regarding your collective worldly chattel, but you’ll get through it.
However difficult you think the immediate future might be, hold onto the fact that you’re over the hardest part.
It’s awfully tempting to offload divorce angst, onto somebody who really is on your side. Indulging the urge to do so is fine, providing that person isn’t your solicitor.
It’s an expensive mistake to use your solicitor as a counsellor and to be honest, unscrupulous ones are unlikely to encourage you to stop.
Divorce and the ancillary pain that goes with it, is part of their regular day at the office but never forget, your time is their money. They may feed from the morsels of detail you throw them and with anger fuelling your fire, you might end up instructing them to write costly letters to contest things that aren’t worth it.
Keep a level head and employ them to get the job done, not be your friend through it.
Broken hearts can offer an easy route to the precious resources left in your bank account; treasure every penny.
If you have children together, be sure to make a note on the calendar of every night the children stay with you, or with your ex.
As mentioned here recently, the Google calendar facility is very easy to use and you don’t have to look at it all the time. You can deselect it from everyday view, then it won’t act as a constant reminder of any angst you may be suffering but it’s easy enough to access when you need to update it.
It may seem completely unnecessary, particularly if everything is running along amicably between you and your ex, however, the nicest of worms can complete the bizarrest of u-turns and on the topic of your children, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If child-benefit related authorities get involved, they will want a detailed account of who stayed where and you may also have to provide details to the solicitors too.
If you never need to use it, that’s wonderful, but if you do, you’ll be glad you’ve got it covered.
For divorce related correspondence that is simply too painful to read, don’t create a pile of unopened heartache, ask a trusted friend or family member to read it through with you, or for you, instead.
It may be beneficial to select somebody who is divorced themselves, as they’ll no doubt be able to recall how upsetting and difficult this simple task can be. An empathetic, understanding soul won’t mind at all and they are less likely to miss an important detail or deadline because they weren’t digesting the information with tear-filled eyes.
You stand a better chance of not missing urgent deadlines, which could have resulted in costly errors and finally, your impassive assistant should encourage you to pen responses with more equilibrium and less vitriol; ultimately, the only person to benefit from spiteful letters back and forth, are solicitors.
If your ex left in a rush, they might also have left you with the responsibility of clearing out their stuff.
Think about the spaces you most commonly frequent in your home and remove the items with the worst associations to your ex, paying immediate attention to your kitchen cupboards.
You probably have countless cups of tea or coffee and just seeing their crockery can physically hurt. If you have unwanted possession of their favourite beverage mug, bowl or snack plate, consider donating them to a worthy cause, or alternatively, if they’ve really racked you off, take great delight in smashing them, being mindful not to get shards on your skin.
One relatively safe and effective way to let off a little steam is to put the items inside a bag then inside another bag, then cover with a towel and bash with something weighty, or let it drop on the floor; be sure to enjoy the resounding naughty smash!
Remove those irksome visual reminders and find comfort in the finality of the process.
They say an English(wo)man’s home is their castle, therefore, your bedroom should be your inner sanctuary.
If you’ve experienced a change of living and sleeping arrangements, it might be time for that room to reflect the new you and to be filled with your favourite fabrics and colours.
Consider donating all of your old bed linen to a charity store or local refuge and replace it with something fresh and new, chosen entirely by you. Stretch to replacing the pillows and duvet too if you can afford it.
You don’t have to spend a fortune and if you shop around, you should be able to do it on a reasonably tight budget. If you go for a plain set of bedding, you could always buy a swathe of patterned fabric from a haberdashery shop and use it to make ties, throws, lights shades, cushions covers or bows to pull it all together and give your most private space some fresh pizazz.
One of my favourite views of a sunflower is during her dying days, when the leaves have all shrivelled up and the seeds are prominent and ready for harvest. I revel in this moribund phase further whenever I see Van Gogh’s oil on canvas of a dozen sunflowers.
Art can be incredibly distracting if you’re in the right mood and are willing to let your mind wander. It can also offer temporary relief to a torrid situation. Plan a trip to an art gallery – a great many are still free – and view the work with your new perspective.
Seek out artists in your area, or maybe head to the capital to take in some of the nationally acclaimed pieces. In larger venues, you’ll frequently be able to find enormous, pondersome benches where you can while away a few peaceful hours, gathering your thoughts and centering your being.
It’s bad enough when you have to endure the inane misery an ex’s idiotic words, be they written or spoken, but these can be made even more painful when other people roll around in them.
When friends dissect their statements and make fun of them or pull them apart, it can invite you to revisit old hurt and you may find a fresh wave of tears burning a hot route down your cheek, as your buddies attempt to try and make you feel better.
It is pain, however you cut it, and actually it’s your pain, so ensure your feelings are understood and respected by your well meaning friends.