In our earlier post we discussed the importance of creating a team of professionals to help you through your divorce. The Big 3 -- the legal professional, the financial advisor, and the counselor -- will provide you with guidance as you start your process. But who else do you need? Here are 3 more to consider for your team.
Your Health Buddy
Support for Your Children
Divorce Navigator In a later post we will talk about how important it is to take care of yourself first; put that oxygen mask on yourself before helping your children or anyone else, or before making major decisions. This is crucially important in your divorce. Your counselor will help you understand the emotions you are feeling. But along with this is being aware of the stress that you are going through and what it is doing to your body (and mind).
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1. Put your self care at the top of your priority list.
During a divorce many individuals are overwhelmed and distracted, along with hurt and angry. They might handle this by neglecting their healthy eating patterns, or their exercise routine. They also might indulge in alcohol or other recreational substances. All of these will have an impact on your health and life. You might not have the energy to cook a nutritional meal, or get to the gym. And using an extra glass of wine or alcohol may seem a good way to escape from the emotions but will have an impact on your well-being.
Make healthy eating and good exercise your priorities.
Who is your Health Buddy? A personal trainer, a nutritionist, a walking partner. Re-new your gym membership -- and find a friend to go with you. Take a yoga class. Anyone who can remind you to get exercise and hold you a bit accountable to get it done.
If your resources are thin, and for many of us they are during this time, make the decision to exercise regularly. Make a walking plan and put it in your planner. Find some friends,
neighbors, new acquaintances to go with you. This will keep you on track and can be a source of great fun, which we often forget during this time. You don't have to spend a lot of money on this -- the goal is to keep yourself healthy so that you can move through this challenging time with less stress.
2. Support for Your Children
Your children need an enormous amount of support during this time as they make sense of the changes in their lives. This will demand patience and resources for better success. Please don't do this alone; there are wonderful resources locally to help with this.
Find a counselor who specializes in working with children or young adults and make a appointment to meet with them. It is often helpful for your children to have another adult to speak to at this time, a neutral person who can listen and help them to make sense of their new lives.
In Maine we are very fortunate to have Kids First, an organization that has been providing support to kids and their families in the state for almost 20 years. They provide a range of programs for both kids and parents in several locations around the state. Their experience and insight will help you stay on track. Check out their classes and their calendar to find the support you need: www.kidsfirstcenter.org.
3. A Divorce Navigator
What is a Divorce Navigator? A Divorce Navigator is like a mentor who helps you understand and navigate the many areas of your life that need to be taken care of during your divorce outside of the legal process. They can help you make a map of your new life and help you set goals to get there. They will help you get organized prior to your meeting with your legal professional. They will provide you with strategies and a roadmap to address the bits of your daily life that you will have to address: how to 'uncouple' your intertwined services, such as your insurance/utilities/internet/easy-pass. They can help you set up your new budget. They have access to vetted local resources for you to contact to help you move forward.
"I'm spending so much money with my lawyer --why would I hire a Divorce Navigator?"
Divorce Navigation is a short term coaching opportunity that helps you gain control and
clarity, manage your time and expenses, and alleviates the overwhelm that comes with the divorce process.
One way to manage the expenses of your divorce is to be very organized prior to, and during, your meetings with your legal professional. The cost of your legal professional's time will go up the longer you spend in their office. If you are organized when you meet with your lawyer, you help manage your costs. And if you understand what your lawyer can and cannot do, this will help. Your legal professional is not a counselor, nor has the time to help you map your new life. Use your counselor to help with your emotions. And hire a Divorce Navigator to help you organize and understand your new life outside of the legal process of the divorce.
The cost of working with a Divorce Navigator will save you extra expenses and help you create a new path.
Want to learn more about working with a Divorce Navigator? www.unravelingtheknot.com