How to survive a divorce, a pandemic, and the holidays on top of it – Part 2

#4 Don’t take things personally or make assumptions about others behavior

I got this advice from a friend and it is from a classic book ‘The four agreements ’ by don Miguel Ruiz.  

I got offended, of course. I am not doing this! I don’t take things personally, I’m not thirteen anymore! And I definitely don’t make assumptions. Never.

Year, right. After paying attention to this, I realized how many times I did take others’ comments and actions personally. And countless times I assumed I knew the reason for their behavior. Especially when it comes to friends and family members and exes! ‘He looked at me like that because he is still angry with me!’ Right? Wrong. He had a rough day at work, that’s all.

Just changing this habit saved me a ton of frustration since then. 

Do what the courts do: assume that everyone (including your ex!) is innocent until it’s proven that they are not.

Assume that they are neutral towards you at least, and what happened was a simple mistake, or a coincidence. It can prevent small conflicts from spiraling down badly.

Remember: “The Power to shift the way you see something is yours, 24/7” (Dr. Cindy Zurchin.)

If you like Ted talks, watch this with strategies on how not to take things personally. It’s a good one.

Quick tip: Practice catching yourself when you automatically explain something that happened in a negative way, taking it personally or assuming things about the other’s intention. Instead, check the facts. Look at it from a different angle. Stay unbiased.

#5 Find a new purpose to your life

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” wrote Viktor E. Frankl, a famous Holocaust survivor. I’m not comparing our current pandemic situation to the world wars, but sitting in a lockdown, losing our job or going through a divorce can sure feel like our life just got ruined.

So let’s do what people did after wars on every continent. They cleared up the bombed down remains of their houses and railways and factories and built them again.

You had goals but life took them away from you? Say goodbye to them and get new ones! You are not dead yet. Dream up some dreams or help someone worse off than you! There are people out there who need you, hundred percent.

Quick tip: Sit down on a quiet evening and think about the major areas of your life. Is there something missing? Was there something you never did during your marriage because your ex was not supportive? A language you never learnt or a book never finished because life was too busy? Be creative! Write down a new goal for the new year. This can be the time to plan and take those first baby steps.

Bonus tip: Trim your self-doubts and grow your confidence instead

When life is challenging, it will trigger self-doubts. I’ve been constantly pushed out of my comfort zone this year, and my inner critic kept talking. ‘I can never get a job as a single mom.’ ‘I should be more patient with my kids.’ ‘I’m not good enough.’

When we have to survive in turbulent times, like during a divorce or a pandemic, it’s normal to feel like we’re losing the ground under our feet. It’s normal to struggle with fear and lack of confidence.

But it’s important to keep moving forward, too! Don’t let your doubts and fears hold you back.

When you notice them popping up, take a minute or two to deal with them. ‘Maybe I’m not the best in the world at this, but I know a lot about my field, I work hard every day and people appreciate it.’ 

Write down your strengths, things you are proud of about yourself, problems you solved before, similar to current ones. Take time to talk to an encouraging friend.

Quick tip: For a few days, jot down the negative sentences your inner critic tells you. Later when you have a few minutes, take a look at them. Do you see a pattern? What was triggering them? What are they talking about? Then pick a couple of typical sentences and turn them around. Write down new, positive and motivating sentences about yourself that will help you to take action.

How do you cope with your divorce? Let me know in the comments below!

Take care!