Letting Go - Myths, Benefits, and How-To

This isn’t going to be an easy blog post to read. What I’ll be asking you to do through this post is something some of you will have already put behind you (please read through and comment at the end to share your insight!) and some of you aren’t ready to do yet. This post is meant only to inform. It’s meant to inform from the standpoint of someone who’s been there and someone who has seen the difference in others after they’ve let go.

Before I talk about different ways to let go, let’s talk about the myths associated with letting go. First, letting go (or forgiving) means you’re letting the person (or persons) who wronged you off the hook. This is the biggest myth there is when it comes to forgiveness. Let’s talk about it. When you’re holding onto anger after being hurt, who is that affecting? Do you believe that your anger is affecting the person who hurt you? I would argue that not only do they not care, but if they do care, they love that you’re still hurt and angry! Letting go takes that power away from them.

The second myth when it comes to forgiveness is that you need to tell the other person. Letting go of the hurt and anger has nothing to do with the other person. It has everything to do with you. Making a conscious choice to let go of hurt and anger and forgiving the people that hurt you is entirely internal and has everything to do with you.

Why let go?

Do you know that people who have gone through a divorce are more likely to suffer from depression than those who have not? As a side note, men are more likely to suffer from depression than women. Why do you think that is? Women do a pretty good job of talking difficult things out. Women open up and when they do, they get what’s on their mind out instead of holding it in.

Remember who is affected by holding onto the anger. It certainly isn’t the person who hurt you. In fact, you end up holding onto feelings no one enjoys having simply because you haven’t let go yet.

When you hold on, when you won’t release the hurt that is very real, you are allowing another to control your emotions. What happens is that when you hold onto the hurt, you feel it whenever you’re in contact with the person that hurt you. In essence, you are allowing them to hurt you all over again every time you have contact because you have not released the pain.

How do you release it all?

If you’re ready to forgive, ready to let go of the pain and anger and sadness, there are 3 tangible ways to do this:

  1. Meditate. This is a great visual to help you imagine the emotions you need to let go of as a wave. Close your eyes and imagine laying on a beach. Imagine a wave starting out in the water coming towards you. You’re warm and dry laying in the sand and you don’t want to get wet, but the wave is too close for you to get away now. You decide it’s best to let the wave wash over you. As you lay there, you prepare by closing your eyes, holding your breath and letting the wave wash completely over you. In a moment, it’s done and you’re left wet and cold, but just as you open your eyes, you feel the sun on you. The worst is over.

  2. Throw them away, literally. Some people are kinesthetic. This is a great tool for someone who needs to feel the process. Go on a walk and grab rocks. Write words or phrases related to the pain you are ready to let go of on them. Put them all in a backpack and carry that backpack, really feeling the weight of it. If you can carry it to high ground, even better! When you reach it, take each rock out, notice the words and repeat the phrase, “I am letting go of (insert the word or phrase here)” and toss the rock away.

  3. Write it out. Some people are great with words. For someone who can sit and type or sit and write, grab your pen and paper and get it all out. Have a conversation with yourself not worrying about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Once you get this out - get rid of it! Throw it away! Burn it (safely!). Remove it from your life just as you’re removing the emotions.

Letting go is the key to moving on. If you haven’t felt ready for it, consider why. Hopefully I’ve given you an answer to help you overcome it, but if not, you can always reach out to me for help. If you’ve let go, comment below and talk about your experience!

Want or need more support than what's listed here? How about a workbook to give you the emotional freedom that makes co-parenting less frustrating and divorce a little more in your rear view mirror? The Emotional Freedom Workbook is yours. 

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Why You Need to Journal If You Are Co-Parenting

We are lucky to have a guest post today from Tim Backes over at Custody X Change! Check the post out below and his bio at the bottom. Thank you, Tim!

Unless you have been in a situation where you are or were one half of a co-parenting duo, it’s difficult to understand all of the frustration that you can feel. It’s incredibly easy to lose control of your thoughts and come off to friends, family, lawyers, and even judges as disorganized and even vindictive when discussing your problems with the other co-parent.

How can you solve this common problem? The easiest solution is to start and maintain a co-parenting journal.

Get Organized

One of the key reasons for why you should keep a co-parenting journal is that it will keep you and your experiences with the other co-parent organized. As this is your journal, and not a shared document, you are free to record anything you want.

Some useful information you might want to consider keeping track of is:

* Accuracy of drop off and pick up times of both parents

* Missed or changed visitations

* Extracurricular activities such as sports practices & games and music lessons as well as missed activities

* Noticeable behavioral changes after time spent with the other co-parent

* Anything out of the ordinary after time spent with the other co-parent

Make it a habit to date and timestamp each journal entry and make plenty of entries. The frequency of your journaling is just as important as the information you record.

Your Words Are Great But Hard Data Is Better

As important as journaling frequently and recording your thoughts and data are, showing evidence is of key importance. Your words are one-sided, but physical evidence is non-bias. It’s much more difficult to ignore pictures and documents than it is words and opinions.

It’s not always easy to get ahold of physical evidence, but a few ideas are:

* Copies of emails or text messages you’ve received from the other co-parent

* Pictures of any bumps, scrapes, or bruises on your child after returning from time with the other co-parent

* Copies of any unused tickets for events your child was supposed to attend with the other co-parent

* Medical bills and receipts from extracurricular activities

* Notes from teachers or school administrators about your child’s behavioral or overall demeanor

It takes a little effort to gather and document this type of information, but hard data that backs up your written or typed journal entries is invaluable. It elevates the perceived trust of your journal as a whole.

Summary

If you are one half of a co-parenting team you should be keeping a journal. You should be making entries often, and you should be baking up your words with physical evidence when possible.

The true value of journaling is not each entry by itself. Over time visible patterns will begin to appear, like a child always getting in trouble at school after spending a weekend with the other co-parent, or a very visible pattern of routinely missed visitations.

By documenting everything, you have hard evidence to show your mediator or judge. And, in court, evidence is everything.

Tim Backes is the senior editor for Custody X Change, a co-parenting custody scheduling software solution.

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Being Human and Positive Co-Parenting

My ex made me so angry and I flew off the handle. I shouldn’t have said what I did. I know I shouldn’t have said it, too, and that makes me even more upset!

Sound familiar?

I’m human. You’re human. Emotions take over sometimes and we react with them instead of with our heads. It happens. In co-parenting, however, this is how arguments happen. It’s how arguments continue to happen. Like it or not, sometimes those arguments are our fault. And that really hurts to hear.

How do you positively co-parent when you’re human and have these (valid) emotions that sometimes take over?

First, acknowledge that you have them. Accept that you’re angry, frustrated, bitter, or resentful. No one would blame you for feeling that way, so why try to fight it? Really understand what that means for you, too. What do these emotions feel like in your body (e.g. fist clenching, heat rising, shoulders tensing, etc.)? What are your triggers? Is it every time your ex contacts you or only when they contact you about certain things?

Once you accept and understand your thoughts and feelings related to the divorce and co-parenting, put a plan in place. Anger comes with energy. How can you use that energy for good? Put a plan in place. Do you go for a walk, hit the gym, listen to music, read a book, build something, fix something, or even volunteer for something.

When you do say or do something that you later regret, apologize. Simply saying, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that” can go a long way in building a better co-parenting relationship. (Note: when dealing with narcissistic personalities, an apology will only create more drama, simply do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again in those cases knowing that, if it does, it’s a moment of weakness.) Accept it for what it is, a mistake. Too quickly in negative co-parenting situations, we’re quick to blame - “WELL, IF YOU HADN’T…..” The key is knowing that your ex will do/say something that will irk you and that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’ll do/say something that’s equally as irk-some. It’s time then to take ownership of YOUR role in it and change it. You can’t go backwards, you can only move forward.

Earlier in this post, I asked how you positively co-parent when you’re human, the answer is that it’s possible as long as you own your role in it.

Other co-parenting classes will tell you that you have to communicate this way, respond that way, but they aren’t telling you how - that’s what’s different about this class. Start here by understanding where you are and what you can do to manage it.

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What Do They Think Of Me?

Do you ever worry about other's judgments of you? Either as a parent or as a person? When you go through a divorce, what’s one of the first things you think of? Isn’t it something along the lines of, “What will everyone think?” Divorced or not, isn’t there a piece of all of us that worries just a little bit about what others think?

When your child is the one screaming in the toy aisle of Target, when your teenager dyes their hair purple (I've been there!), even as small as when your phone rings in the middle of a quiet room. Don’t you wonder, “What is everyone thinking?”

After a divorce, you have to tell your family and they may or may not approve. Word gets out at your job. Your friends see a status update on Facebook. Hopefully everyone in your life is supportive, but if you’re like most, there’s the question in the back of your mind, “What have they been thinking all along? Did they see this coming? Did I miss something?”

You may be asking, why does it matter if I care what others think of me? Why does it matter if I worry about the judgments of others?

In my practice, there’s one thing I’ve found. Those that are quick to judge what others (namely their ex) are doing are the ones that worry most about what others (again, usually their ex) think of them. These are the people that have a competition mindset in co-parenting.

To their credit, many times this is subconscious and it’s only after pointing it out do they realize it’s what’s been happening all along. These are the people that also want to change it immediately. You all know that competition doesn’t work in co-parenting, so then what?

It’s when parents have a solid grasp on where they’re going that they care less about what others are thinking. When parents are able to take ownership of their thoughts and feelings, they’re less likely to care what others think because they know it will not result in learning something they didn’t want to learn about themselves. When parents accept where their lives were yesterday, own where it is today, and build towards where it’s going tomorrow - the only time other’s opinions matter is when it’s someone they respect.

Wouldn’t it be great to never let an insult get to you? Wouldn’t it be freeing to just brush off jabs that may come from your ex? Wouldn’t it be liberating to know that your ex can no longer get to you? Wouldn't it be powerful to be confident in your parenting skills - so much so that no one can shake it?

That can all be yours. You just need to take the first step. Take ownership of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going with this free training being released soon.

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The Emotional Roller Coaster that is Divorce

Buckle up, I’m hoping this post is real and all about the emotions men and women feel after divorce.

Whether you asked for the divorce or not, it’s heart-wrenching. It’s a punch to the gut to know your marriage is over and a double punch when you start moving forward to end it. That’s the easy part because what you go through after it is a ride no one would sign up for.

Who feels the emotions? Though it’s usually the women who feel the emotions in life, during and after divorce, men feel more negative emotions than women do. Why is that?

Women are more likely to ask for a divorce. They take on new roles in their life which does 2 things: makes them scared/excited and increases their self-esteem. Women, generally speaking, are also more likely to be relieved when the stress they had been living with is no longer there. The feelings that are associated with that include guilt, exhilaration, more guilt, and fear (to name a few).

Men, however, are usually caught off guard. If they are in the small percentage that file for the divorce, the feelings that can go with it are fear, sadness, and loss. Men are also less likely to talk about their emotions which only increases them.

As the divorce process starts moving along, you’re literally put in a boxing ring with someone you vowed to love through better or worse and expected to remain calm. Talk about the emotions that come with court! Let’s see if I can name a few of the big ones:

  • Overwhelming, sickening fear

  • Gut-wrenching disgust

  • Crippling resentment and anger

  • Paralyzing exhaust

Did I miss any? Now step into life after the divorce is final. This is it. It’s officially over. There is no marriage. What are some of the emotions during this section of the ride?

Fear that this was the best you are meant to have, excitement over possibilities, wondering when and how those possibilities will show up (as well as how you’ll deal with them - sex again, anyone?), loss of a relationship, loss of intimacy, loss in general, loneliness, happiness/joy, and scared as you figure out how you’re going to do this all - alone.

Do you see why emotional roller coaster is an accurate way to describe what divorce can put you through? It truly doesn’t matter if you initiate the divorce or not, it’s tough all the way around.

So why does this all matter? It matters because divorce isn’t the only thing going on in your life. You’re still a parent. Somehow you need to manage all of this and take care of your kids and get your kids through the divorce. All these emotions I just talked about - those are your emotions. This post isn’t even going to cover what your kids can go through, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s your job to help them manage their emotions, too. The best way to teach them to manage their emotions is to manage your own.

You’ve heard the phrase, you can’t pour from an empty cup. This post is listed under the “All About You” section of my blog. It’s here for a reason. You have a duty to care for yourself, manage your emotions, and help show your children how to manage theirs through this.

How do you do that? You can sign up for a free tool coming out soon (at the bottom of this post). You can read more posts here in this section. You can see a therapist, buy a workbook to help you through it. There are so many options available to you, it’s up to you to pick one and follow-through on it.

Comment below with a few of the emotions you’ve felt as you’ve gone through the divorce process.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So you're getting a divorce or are divorced. That's the news. It can be good news or bad news, but wherever you fall on the spectrum, it's reality. 

When you go through a divorce, you're in survival mode. Your whole world has been tossed upside down and you barely know where you are let alone where you're going. At those times, it's good practice to take a step back and look at the big picture. 

Here it is, the (very general) good, bad, and ugly that comes with divorce. 

The Good

  • You are free from an unhappy marriage! 
  • You get to decide where you go next (within reason if there are kids involved)
  • Your happiness is completely and totally up to you

The Bad

  • You no longer have a partner beside you to go through this with
  • You have to start over just when life was settled or on the way to settled

The Ugly

  • You never truly have a life without your ex because you will be co-parenting with him/her as long as your kids need parents

Obviously there's more good, more bad, and maybe even more ugly based on your individual situation, but this is a general way of looking at life as a whole after divorce. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about being the best parent you can be, which means being the best co-parent you can be. With that said, co-parenting is hard! It's hard even when things work well between you and your ex, but when they're not working well, it feels like co-parenting hell.  At those times, doing this exercise takes you out of the weeds and gives you a bird's eye view of your life to help you see it's more than what it feels.

Take out a piece of paper and you're going to draw a picture of your life right now, from that bird's eye view. Maybe it's a picture of you in sweats, sitting on a couch in the living room. There's a coffee table with a box of tissues and some used ones next to it. You notice a divorce decree on the coffee table, too. There's a glass of wine on the side table as well as flowers and cards from the people that love you. Your kid's items are strewn about the room the way they always seem to be and the TV is on playing your favorite movie. 

Maybe your life is more like a football game. You're the quarterback and are suited up. Your jersey number matches the date your divorce was final. As the team lines up and the ball is snapped, you look up, ball in hand and notice your friends and family are surrounding you, protecting you from the opposing team - your ex. You throw the ball down field in a Hail Mary pass as your team is tackled by your ex and their team. Was the catch good? 

When you draw this out, I want you to look at the tiny details in the picture and notice all the good items. Circle them in your picture. Sure there's some bad in the picture, there's some ugly in the picture, but there's good, too. Too often we get caught up in managing the bad that we don't notice the good and this simple exercise can help you notice how surrounded by good you really are. 

Comment below with the good in your life's picture!

In order to be the best parent and the best co-parent you can be, you need to be able to manage life when it gets difficult - and believe me, it will. This is just one exercise to help, but there are many more coming up. Make sure you're in on the chance to earn your "Emotional Inventory" badge as well as the chance to earn more badges making you the best parent and co-parent you can be.

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When You Miss Your Kid's Firsts (and other events)

When you go from seeing your kids daily to seeing them half the time (or less for some people), it's hard! When you realize that there will be times when you miss important things (first steps, first time reading a book independently, getting them ready for picture day, first lost tooth, etc.), it gets harder. 

This coming week, my 15 year old will be going to her first College Fair. She and I have been talking about this, planning for it, and getting excited about it for a year now. When we got the email giving us the date for the fair, we realized 2 things: it was on Dad's day and I had to teach a live class (which I try to only schedule on Dad days). Talk about bummed! Here's this event that we've both been so excited to attend together and we can't.  

That's part of divorce, though, isn't it?

This isn't the first event I've missed, it won't be the last as I round out the last years of co-parenting while our kids are adolescents (only 7 years to go with mine and 10 with my step-daughter!). While it never gets easier to miss events, it can be managed. Here are my tips for managing when you have to miss out on events with your kids. 

  1.  Ask for photos/details/whatever you can get.  When I missed my oldest daughter's second homecoming because I was out of town, she sent me tons of photos (teens with phones aren't ALL bad in these situations). My 15 year old and I are having college info sent here so we can review together. Sometimes all we get is the story, but it's better than nothing because it shows our kids we're interested, and let's be honest - we ARE completely interested!
  2. Accept that it's not the same as being there.  If you know me at all, you know I'm a HUGE fan of accepting the reality of any situation. The reality is we won't always be there for these things and the less we fight it, the more we accept it, the easier it is to move on and enjoy what we do have - stories, pictures, and the feeling that comes with our kids knowing we WANT to be there for everything and are genuinely interested in their lives. Not everything in life can be planned, which means there will be events you miss. 
  3. Be thankful for what you DO have.  There are many moments that you will be there for and those moments deserve gratitude! Parenting after divorce is hard, so when you do get those moments, soak them up and be thankful for every second you have because, as we all know, they may have been missed. I'm missing out on the college fair with my 15 year old, but I did get to take her to her first day of her first job - nerves and all - and that is a moment neither of us will ever forget. 

Memories are made in a lot of different ways. When my kids and I reminisce, the stories aren't just about my days, they're about Dad's, too, and that's ok - in fact, that's good! We may not have lived them together, but we definitely lived the stories together and sometimes re-telling the stories is just as entertaining as the event itself. Let's all take a moment to be happy with every moment we do have as co-parents knowing they're a little harder to come by at times. 

Reminisce with this community, comment below with some of your favorite memories!  

Thanks for stopping by my blog! While you're here, have a look around! 

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When Co-Parenting Sucks

Normally I don't write a post like this, but it's time to talk about it. Co-Parenting can suck. Big time. We're all trying to do our best for the sake of the kids, why can't the ex, right? It feels like literally everything they do is done to upset you. There's no consideration for how difficult their actions make the lives of others around them. I'm not even talking about the kids! I'm talking teachers, doctors, anyone that has contact with your children and you as parents. 

Here are some of the issues I've heard come up: 

  • Refusing to give paperwork from the school to the other parent resulting in talking to the teacher to create 2 different sets of paperwork
  • Making decisions at medical care providers without consulting with the other parent
  • Signing children up for extra-curricular activities without consulting the other parent (and there are practices/games on their days)

It's frustrating. No, I take that back. It starts out as frustrating, but when it continues for months and sometimes years - it's infuriating!

There are 2 ways to handle this. One way is to constantly fight back with your ex in an effort to try and get them to do what you know is right. The other is to move on, give up the fight with them because they've shown you what they're willing to do in an effort to co-parent, and work with others on your own (e.g. the teachers, coaches, medical professionals) - which is nothing. 

There comes a point where you make the best of the situation instead of continuing to fight for what may never happen. For some of us, it's safe to say never. This is when some of you may choose parallel parenting over co-parenting, and that's not the worst thing in the world! There comes a point where you have to take care of you. 

How do you avoid the constant conflict? You send love even when you're given conflict, anger, and bitterness. You work on gratitude. You accept the reality of the situation and resolve to think of all that you're grateful for whenever the frustrating situation comes up - and you know it will continue to come up. You focus on the life you're providing for your children and how happy you and your kids are. You remember that this is temporary and that you'll have a life with your kids based on what THEY want rather than what's court ordered or what your ex wants. 

After awhile, and believe me it can feel like a long time, you'll stop being quite so frustrated when your ex does what your ex does best - make you want to pull your hair out. You'll have a plan in place for handling it and you'll sigh, handle it, grab a glass of wine and move on. The other benefits of sending love and of focusing on gratitude instead of the frustration that comes with a parent that refuses to work with you is that you and your life become lighter. You become happier. Your life becomes what you want it to be because you're focused on the good you have instead of the bad. Your children will notice a difference between the homes and you'll feel different in your everyday life. 

It's not even a little bit easy, and it's in no way fair at all, but it's what you and I and many others have been given, so let's make the best of it together. Comment below with what your  

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Why Mindset Matters

When you go through a divorce, your mind goes to places it may never have gone before. You start to worry about the future because you're down an income. You worry about your children because divorce is hard on them. You get angry because if your ex had been different, this never would have happened. You get sad because it means you're forced to rebuild your life and you thought it was already built. 

This is just part of your mindset. In co-parenting, there's a lot of thoughts that run through your head:

  • How will my ex parent when I'm not there?
  • Are the kids ok? Are they happy? 
  • The kids never wanted this. They want to be with me. Why won't he/she just see that and do what's best for them?

It goes on and on doesn't it? It feels like that's all you can think about! I'm here to tell you that your mindset (the thoughts that run through your head) matter, and that you have control of them. 

First, know that these thoughts run through your head for 2 reasons:

  1. It's normal
  2. You let them

It's true. It's normal for these thoughts to run through your mind, but what you do with those thoughts is up to you! There's so much power in your head and it'll change your life if you do the work. 

The next time you find yourself getting angry because your ex parents differently than you (or not at all), know that where your mind is when you handle it makes the difference between a positive co-parenting interaction and a negative one. Let me give you an example. In this example, the exact same thing happens: one co-parent hears that the other got a babysitter on their day instead of asking them to take their children. The difference is the mindset the Parent 1 is in before talking to Parent 2. 

Positive Mindset

Before talking to their ex, Parent 1 decides to consider where their ex was coming from. It is possible that Grandma/Grandpa hadn't seen the kids in awhile and their ex wanted to give them time? Is it possible that their ex thought that most kids have babysitters in their life and the memories stick with them? Is it possible that the ex knew that dates wouldn't work and didn't even try? Parent 1 decided there were several possibilities and didn't want to shut their mind down. Parent 1 sent a text that said, "The kids said they had a babysitter while at your house. They loved the babysitter, great job finding one. I just want to let you know that I'm sure we both want to be considered if the other has plans so we can each see our kids more. I'll be sure to contact you in the future if I need a sitter and I hope you'll do the same for me." 

Negative Mindset

Parent 1 knew that Parent 2 went into this just to upset them. They'd been struggling to agree on anything for the last several months and this is just a way Parent 2 could get back at Parent 1. Parent 1 sent a text to Parent 2 saying, "The kids say they got a babysitter when they were with you. Too bad you can't make time for your kids. I noticed you didn't ask me, their parent, to be with my own kids. If that's the way you want this to work, that's fine, I won't ask you either." 

Do you see the difference in the mindset before going into the conversation? One of the ways the mind was open to possibilities and the other it was not. How do you think each of these conversations would go? Do you think they'd end the same or do you think they'd have different outcomes. 

Mindset matters. For the very reason spelled out in these examples.

How do you control your thoughts? Here are my 3 steps:

  1. Be aware of them. That's it. Write them down. Repeat them back to yourself. Just be aware of them. 
  2. Decide if they're helpful or harmful. It's a quick litmus test. If your child was having these thoughts, would you consider them helpful or harmful thoughts? 
  3. Change the thoughts that are harmful. This takes practice, but it's not only possible to do, it's positive to do. 

The reason I have a workbook series on Mindset and on Emotional Freedom is because it makes a difference in YOUR life and in your co-parenting relationship. Focusing on you and your mind can mean the difference between a positive working relationship and a negative one. It's just one of the reasons co-parenting can work, but it's the one you're in control of.

Download your copy of the workbooks below to get your mindset on the right track. 

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Normal Is What You Want It To Be

Did you read last week's post on the random thoughts divorcee's have? The thoughts were all over the place, weren't they? If you're like most people, your thoughts have felt all over the place at one point or another in your life, too. When life hands you a major event, like a divorce, how to do you stay sane?

How do you go back to normal? 

After a major life event (again, like divorce), you don't go back to normal - you create a new normal. You find a rhythm that works for you and make that your normal. Divorce is always going to be part of your story. It will always be a chapter in your book, but it doesn't have to be the main story line - unless you want it to be.

Whether you know it or not, you are creating your new normal every day after a divorce.

Take a deep breath as you let that sink in. I've been there. You can barely put on matching shoes as you are headed through and even after a divorce, let alone create a sane normal life, am I right?  So how do you create a new normal while navigating the emotional roller coaster that is divorce? Here are my tips:

1. Start small. Take the pressure off of yourself. No one expects you to be mid-litigation in your divorce and have to pack in your training to climb Mt. Everest. Simply be aware of small habits your creating that can create a normal you don't want. Are you suddenly drinking a few glasses of wine every night after work to take the edge of? Do you eat fast food most meals of the week because you're only cooking for one now? Have you given up weekly gym sessions because it reminds you of time with your ex? Be aware of the fact that not participating creates a habit just as much as participating does. If you find yourself building a habit you wouldn't want to break - start small and make those changes on that particular habit only. When you have the energy, move onto more. 

2. Fake it till you make it. There's a whole lot of truth in that saying. Try this exercise. The next time you find yourself fuming at an email or text that comes from your ex or your lawyer, smile. You read that right. I want you to fake a smile. Hold that smile for 10 seconds. You'll literally feel your mood changing ever so slightly as you hold that smile. Fake the happiness if you have to. Fake a good mood. Eventually you'll realize you've stopped having to fake it and you'll be doing it out of habit. 

3. Take care of you. Throughout divorce and after divorce, there is so much attention on the kids - as there should be. Your kids need to see your love and need your attention and I don't want you to give that up, but on the days when your co-parent has your kids - take time for you. Draw a bath. Eat your favorite food. Put on a TV Show you never get to watch when the kids are there. Find something that gives you peace and serenity. Then make that a habit.

Normal is being created right now. When you take a step back and look at what your normal is - are you happy with it? If not, know that change is only a few habits away. If you're ready to start making a change, there are 2 workbooks ready to guide you through them - Emotional Freedom and Mindset. Click on the buttons below to download your copies and create the normal you want now.  

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Kaern Becker, MA Life Coach