Going through a divorce is not an easy feat. In fact, it will likely be a terrible experience (read our recent post about how to handle a less than cooperative partner in divorce.) And while you’re spending a lot of your time trying to keep your head above water, there are definitely things within the process that you could really be grateful for.
I’m not necessarily saying that you should start celebrating your divorce and planning a “Divorce Party” with all the single ladies you know (although there is nothing wrong with that!), but rather celebrating the small victories, which is a great way to stay positive through what is a relatively negative time.
Staying positive and giving thanks requires a lot more mind-power than you think. Our lives are just so busy, and we’re constantly running from home to work, from appointments to kids’ recitals, from soccer games to the washing machine… wash, rinse, repeat. And when we’re so frantically paddling trying to keep our heads above water, and with negativity looming everywhere, it’s so important to try extra hard to give thanks and celebrate the small stuff.
There is so much to be grateful for. Here are some ways to celebrate all the positivity, and give thanks in your life:
Start a journal. When I was going through my divorce, I read a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. After reading it, I was inspired so I started writing. I was desperate to find one good thing in my day such that it could be salvaged. As time went on, it got easier and easier to find joy in the littlest things, and that would keep me focused on something beautiful rather than the ugly parts of my life. It has now become a part of my life. Every day I still verbalize one thing that I am truly grateful for. Five minutes is all it takes. Actively practicing gratitude helps you change your mindset.
#100happydays. I took the challenge and put my life out on social media. Every day, I posted something that made me happy about that day. Some days felt nearly impossible. Through this process though, it inspired others in my life take the challenge to account for the next 100 days of their life. One friend focused on healthy foods and exercise for 100 days and achieved weight loss. Another took up the challenge while looking for a job and eventually succeeded in finding one that brought fulfillment to her. Looking back, it was cathartic.
Gratitude jar. If you’re someone who needs a visual reminder, try turning your journal into a jar. When you jot down what you are grateful for that day, slide that piece of paper into a jar. As the weeks go on, your jar will fill up quickly – giving you a daily visual reminder of all that’s wonderful in your life.
Say “thank you”. It’s a funny little thing that happens in your brain when you thank others more often. You automatically start to realize that there actually is so much to be grateful for. When people hold a door open, or pick up something you dropped, or simply saying “bless you” when you sneeze, you’ll learn that the words “thank you” will come out of your mouth more often than you ever thought possible. And you’ll see that even the small things in life are wonderful.
Be kind. Practicing niceties will bring cause to gratitude and force you to look outward. Be extremely polite to customer service staff – they go through a lot; thank your cab driver if possible; put your phone down, look up, and hold the door for someone; be on time; be responsible for the vibe you bring to the table; embrace and support someone’s idea; acknowledge and validate other people; and signal your intentions as a cyclist or driver. You could be the kind smile that someone needed that day.
When you’re having time to yourself, it’s easy to look at your divorce and think about everything you’ve lost. That’s obvious, sure. But try to look at what you have, rather than what is gone. You’ll very quickly learn that you have a lot more than you think.
There’s a great book called A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life by a lawyer named John Kralik. He was going through a tough time as his firm wasn’t doing well, he was undergoing a strenuous divorce, and his health was struggling. He found himself writing a thank you letter every day for a full year. Slowly, over time, everything started to change for the better. It’s really a remarkable read if you have some time.
I’m always here to answer your questions and lead you in the right direction. Remember, you’re not alone. Contact me today!