On the scale of life’s most stressful events, marital separation and divorce are right up there. A break-up can easily become all-consuming. Managing changes to your living arrangements, finances, work and childcare routine, while riding a rollercoaster of emotions and possibly navigating a legal process – may seem like a full-time job in itself.
So how do you stop a break-up from damaging your career or business? Here are a few ideas to help you remain focused at work while going through a break-up.
It is easy to let worry consume your thinking all day and all night. In a stressed state, our brains don’t do too well with logical, rational thinking. Overwhelm can leave us frazzled and incapable of working at all, let alone at a high standard. One idea to deal with this issue is to allocate “worry time” each day. This practice is based on the idea that “what you resist persists”. So rather than pushing down your feelings or feeling guilty about worrying, dedicate some sacred time to it (fifteen minutes of solid worry time in the morning should do it) and only worry during that time. If you notice yourself worrying at another time during the day, make a mental note to shelve it until your next worry time. This way the worry will be quarantined to your allotted time and won’t consume your entire day. Your “worry time” doesn’t have to look any particular way, but journaling might be a good practice to get it all out.
Stress is inevitable in a break-up and in life. It is crucial to have practices in place to counterbalance stress, particularly during this period. Some common ways to relieve stress are sleep, exercise, time in nature, connecting with others and meditation. You need to find what works for you. But whatever helps you with managing stress needs to be prioritized in your day. Before you say, “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have money” these activities don’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. A little self-care, often, really helps.
Block all non-essential communications from your ex and lawyer during your workday
It is -difficult, if not impossible to receive a mean-spirited text or a nasty legal letter and go on with your job, performing at your best. Receiving the wrong kind of communication during the work day has the potential to divert your focus, get you upset or angry (or both) and derail your entire day. Try to limit the communications you read and respond to during your work hours and save them for after hours.
Get the right support.
To navigate a break-up you need support and lots of it. If you find the right professional help – a lawyer, therapist, divorce coach – they can ease the burden on your shoulders. For example, knowing your legal matters are being handled, can free up important headspace for you to focus on your work.
Leave your problems at the office door.
As difficult as this may be, be conscious of over-sharing with clients, customers, and colleagues. Friends, family and the professionals in your life are the ones who you should be confiding in. As much as it might be tempting to share, revisiting your story throughout your working day, with many different people, can see you stuck there, reliving the emotions. And that’s hardly the right frame of mind to bring you’re A-game to your work.