Introducing our guest blog author, Vanessa White. Vanessa is an accredited Breakup and Divorce Coach (Master Accreditation) who specialises in domestic abuse. Vanessa gives her clients tools and strategies to help them emotionally and practically before, during and after their separation or divorce, however complex or conflicting.

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Moving through your divorce in an informed, confident way can seem impossible with the emotional turmoil you may be experiencing. Understanding your emotions, feeling supported, and reducing stress by getting clarity will help you navigate the legal process and get the outcome you desire.

1: Acknowledge your emotions.

Managing your emotions will enable you to make important decisions with confidence and ultimately move forward to a brighter future. Divorce and relationship breakdown is thought to be the second most traumatic life event after the death of a loved one, and so it is completely understandable if you feel overwhelmed by the rollercoaster of your emotions at this time. Even if you ended the relationship, everything you were sure about in life has changed, and that can be terrifying.

The sense of loss felt after a breakup can be likened to the grieving process. The loss felt is often about the disappearance of the future you thought you would have. Your emotions jump all over the place – from denial to anger, from guilt to sadness, from heartbreak to acceptance. This can be confusing, but it is totally natural, and all your feelings are valid.

• Acknowledge your emotions.
• Allow yourself to ‘feel’ the emotion, e.g. to cry if you feel like it, as this is all part of the healing process.
• Work out what you’re actually feeling and understand why you might be feeling that way.
• You are in control of your feelings, and it is possible to change them, even slightly. So you don’t get ‘stuck’ in your negative emotions, practice ‘dialling them down’ in your mind and ‘dial-up’ more positive ones like excitement or pride. It’s amazing how even going from a 10 to 9 for how sad you feel can help.
• Realise that the feelings do not last; they will ease and go, so even if you feel awful at certain times, it will end, allowing you to move ahead.

2: Everybody needs support

Having the right care and assistance will give you clarity, reduce your emotions like anxiety and help you feel empowered to take small steps forward.

Your partner may well have been your main source of emotional and practical support, so you may be feeling at a loss as you go through your divorce. Now is the time to reach out to other people to advise you; help you stay focussed; to socialise with or to give you a hug and a shoulder to cry on.

Having the right kind of support ‘team’ around you is invaluable and could include:

• A Family Lawyer
• An Accredited Breakup and Divorce Coach
• An Independent Financial Advisor
• Your Line Manager or HR Manager
• A trusted friend
• An exercise buddy
• A babysitter or childminder

There are no rules as to what support is required and it may evolve over time. It is YOUR needs that matter, so put together the right help for you. It is worth remembering to treat yourself like you would your best friend – with respect, compassion and talk using positive language.

3: Get clarity

Clarity gives you power, which gives you the ability to make good decisions with confidence.

Anxiety can be overwhelming during divorce. As a Divorce Coach, I see clients burying their heads in the sand and not facing their worries. Individuals do not, therefore, seek professional advice from Family Lawyers or Independent Financial Advisers because they are too scared about what they may tell them, for example, about how much money they may have after their divorce or what will happen to their children. But one thing is for sure – these issues will not disappear just because you ignore them.

The trick is to face these worries head-on and not to pretend they don’t exist. It is frequently the lack of knowledge that makes thinking about these issues so terrifying. My clients tell me that once they have found out the facts, they feel so much better and more able to cope with what is coming down the track (even if the facts are not particularly what they wanted to hear).

In my experience, it is the not knowing that causes the overwhelm and anxiety. So, find out from trusted sources as much as you can about the areas that are causing you stress. The clarity you gain will lead you to be much better informed and so able to make the right decisions for you.

There is no denying that divorce is practically and emotionally daunting, but you can face it, get through it and recover from it. For me, divorce is not the end of your story; it is only the beginning – thinking about what direction you want your life to take post-divorce will move you gradually from focusing on what has been to what can be. Dream big!

If you would like Vanessa as part of your ‘support team’ to get the divorce outcome you deserve, you can contact her at; 07772332570;