The breakup of a relationship, whether through separation or divorce, is one of the most stressful experiences in life. Your world is turned upside down, and you suddenly find yourself dealing with negative feelings of grief, confusion, rejection, isolation, and so much more.
Why does it hurt so much?
There can be many reasons for the pain you feel:
- The loss of the shared dream of a life together.
- Fear of what the future may hold.
- Changes in familiar relationships with family and friends and the resulting loss of support and security.
- The loss of your own sense of self and identity, as you are no longer ‘a couple’.
How to support yourself
It is okay to feel and acknowledge all those hurtful feelings. By suppressing them, you’ll simply prolong the healing process.
Share your feelings with close friends, it will help you feel less alone.
Let go of feelings of blame and anger as soon as possible – they will only drain your energy.
If you feel stuck in the grief, and unable to move forward, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This action might even avoid the danger of slipping into a depression. As a Phela member you can call 0800 22 9355 free to speak to a councillor who will listen to how you are feeling and what your needs are. This will help put you on the path to getting all the support you so desperately need at this time.
Pay attention to your, and your family’s wellbeing
Breakup, separation and divorce are events that disrupt your entire life. With so much to deal with, it’s easy to fall back on bad lifestyle habits.
Even when you’re tempted to simply give up, keep moving forward in a positive way by continuing to make healthy choices.
During stressful times, healthy eating habits are more important than ever. You may not want to eat at all or overeat, even turning to junk food, but proper nutrition will help maintain your immune system, energy levels and help you to cope.
As a Phela member you can log on here and go to MYPLAN; where you will find meal plans, recipes, and even some simple exercises to do at home. Maybe you could even interest your children in exploring MYPLAN with you.
When you feel paralysed by sadness, the last thing you may want to do is to exercise. Yet by getting active you will raise your endorphin levels, which will help lift your spirits, while keeping your body strong and fit.
Getting some good sleep is essential in times of crisis, and that’s when it can be most elusive. Try to keep regular sleeping times and patterns, and de-stress with a hot bath, meditation, or even just some deep-breathing before bedtime.
To help you, a 12 week ‘Better Sleep’ programme has been developed. Each week you will receive information that will help you build up good sleep habits and practices. It is very easy to follow. You will find the ‘Better Sleep’ programme on the website under the MYPLAN tab in the member’s portal.
Care for your children
Your children need to know and understand that the divorce is not their fault, and that nothing will stop you from loving them.
When a home breaks up, children also feel deep sadness, anger, confusion and uncertainty. They often can believe that they were the cause of the separation. As a parent you can help your children to cope, by helping them to understand what is happening. Explain as simply as possible what they can expect, especially how the relationship with the other parent is going to work. By encouraging them to express what they are feeling, and really listening as they share their experience, they will feel heard.
Providing daily routines will give them a sense of continued structure and stability. Keep reassuring them that they are still loved. Both parents can do this through visits, texts, calls and emails.
Yes there is hope for a better future
It takes time and compassionate understanding of what happened to move on from a breakup. Be gentle with yourself.
Over time you will find that you are able to also learn from any of your own mistakes you may have made. This can help you discover more about yourself, how you relate to other people. It might even highlight certain issues you need to work on in order to make better choices next time.
Although it may take time, people do get through divorce and manage to create a happy future. You can be one of these people!
Don’t forget as a Phela Wellness member, you can receive free help from a counsellor by calling 0800 22 93 55