Going through a divorce is hard! Being quarantined with your soon to be ex during the dissolution of your marriage creates another layer of difficulty. Stressful times can make you feel out of control, hurt, sad, anxious, fearful, insecure, and powerless. Uncertainty is a part of the human existence. Even though intellectually you know that this time will pass, it is very unsettling. It is important to acknowledge that you are most malleable when you find yourself in a difficult situation. Tough times are opportunities for your own personal development. It is essential to challenge the way you perceive situations that you don’t like. If you don’t push through your comfort zone, you are likely to repeat the scenario again. Letting go of your former thoughts and behaviors and setting the intention to follow the 5 B.R.A.V.E. Skills of balance, resilience, autonomy, valor, and empathy will create the opportunity for change and healing.
A balanced life is essential for personal effectiveness, peace of mind, and living well. It means creating time for the things you have to do, as well as the things you want to do. It is up to you to create harmony between your life responsibilities while finding time to participate in activities that bring you pleasure, personal fulfillment, and rejuvenation. Being in close quarters with your soon to be ex can be unsettling, so now more than ever it is essential to take practice self-care. Make it a priority to nurture yourself while focusing on creating an efficient and positive mindset. Part of living a well-balanced life is acknowledging how to deal with adversity, unforeseen events, and uncertainty. You have the power to decide how, where, and when to concentrate your energies. Make a list if it will help create structure for you. This quarantine is not forever. Focusing on physical, emotional, and spiritual balance during this indefinite time will reduce your stress, improve your mental state of mind, help boost your energy, and improve your mood. You are in control of what you engage in and how you react. Remember, your breath is always patiently waiting for you so set the intention of focusing on that prior to taking action.
Everyone has varying levels of resilience, but it is a skill you can improve with practice. It requires that you pay attention to your experiences, listen to your emotions, and be open-minded. You can learn from disappointment and failure as well as success and motivation. Being isolated with your soon to be ex is tough and emotionally exhausting. Your ability to adapt and bounce back during this time will be tested. It is essential, now more than ever, to spend your time and energy identifying and focusing on the things you can control. Putting your efforts where they have the most positive impact will allow you to feel more empowered and confident. Only you have the ability to decide how you are going to interpret the adversities in your life. Seek support from your friends, embrace the challenge, and stay mindful of your responses. Remember, that much of what you are facing in quarantine is temporary. You have overcome setbacks before, and you can do it again!
Nothing gets you to depend on yourself more than fear or stress. Being quarantined and living under the same roof with your soon to be ex can be complicated. It is with utmost importance to deliberately set the intention of acting on your own values and interests. Think about what really matters to you and how you can move through this in the healthiest way possible. Take charge and become a creator of how the days will unfold instead of a victim of the situation. The choice belongs to you. You are capable of making rational and informed decisions on your behalf. In this moment it is essential to be self-aware, self-reflective, and to self-manage in order to fully maximize your potential. Establish and write down your personal visions and goals. You can use them as affirmations or friendly reminders of your intentions. You are moving through your suffering when you develop a stronger belief in yourself and your capabilities. You can do difficult things!
Hardships can be debilitating and painful. Going through the divorce process requires courage and strength. Living with your soon to be ex for an extended amount of time adds another layer to an already challenging situation. Set the intention of finding a level of acceptance for the circumstance. The only way to diminish the fear and stress is to move through them, face what you have a tendency to avoid, and keep persevering despite your desire to freeze. If you allow yourself to stay stuck in your misery or anxiety, you cannot grow, and the situation has no opportunity to be different. Learn to say NO, ask for what you want, let go of little negativities that weigh you down, and practice defying the status quo. Just because things have always been a certain way doesn’t mean that they will remain the same. Aim to confront the challenges and fears you are facing and allow your valor to drive your responses and decisions. With forward movement will come empowerment and resolution.
No one wants to live in a war zone! Divorcing couples who are stuck in the same household must take the time to practice empathy. Not only does it result in a greater level of harmony, but it can resolve conflict and disagreements quicker. It is important to understand that true empathy works in two ways. First, it is about nurturing the ability and desire to have compassion for someone else. It requires being open-minded to the feelings and experiences of another. Empathy also involves working on setting aside your own personal biases, opinions, agenda, and beliefs, and making a conscious choice to accept the other person as he/she is and for who he/she is-flaws and all. Second, empathy is practicing having the self-awareness needed to better understand yourself, your motives, and your emotions, and the effect you have on the other person through your words, actions, and behavior. Only you can decide how to get through this period of confinement with the most peace. Everyone wants to be heard and acknowledged. Set the intention of being mindful of your body language, tone of voice, eye contact, and the words you choose. You have the power to make conscious choices which will guide you through this taxing period.
Encourage yourself to remain open to new thoughts and behaviors and nurture your ability to forge ahead in a healthier direction. Allow yourself the permission to feel the feelings that come up during this difficult time and the opportunity to move through them in a productive way. Looking from a different angle and consciously deciding what you want to do is the first step in taking your power back. You have control over how you react when you set the intention of looking at a challenging situation with objectivity and purposefully deciding what you want for yourself. Using the 5 B.R.A.V.E. Skills will give you the framework you need to follow so that you can move on and come out of this COVID-19 quarantine period with your soon to be ex less stressed, stronger, and more confident. You will rise!
How will you use the 5 B.R.A.V.E. Skills framework to push through your own self-limiting boundaries?
Jennifer Warren Medwin, MS is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, Supreme Court of Florida Family Mediator, and a Certified Marital Mediator in Pinecrest, Miami, Florida. Jennifer specializes in working alongside individuals and couples who are contemplating divorce and are fearful of high conflict and with those who hope to save their marriages. She partners with clients to develop the clarity, confidence, courage, conflict management strategies, and communication skills they need in order to move through the process. Jennifer uses her knowledge of coaching and mediation to help her clients emotionally prepare for the dissolution of their marriages or the reconciliation of their relationships in the most organized, time-efficient, and productive manner. Additionally, Jennifer is a member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP) and a contributing writer for Your Tango and Thrive Global. Her approach to divorce coaching and mediation is one that provides clients with guidance and compassion through a difficult time in their lives.
originally published, April 10, 2020