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By Nicola Baume, Divorce Life Coach

Looking at a separation as a positive experience maybe not possible while you are going through it as it is a very turbulent time for many people. Life as you know it has ceased and a new unknown lies ahead. You may not know where to start and be unsure of the legal process and afraid of what the future holds. However,it can be a powerful learning and growing experience where you find renewed joy and happiness within yourself.

Going through a separation is the perfect opportunity to look at yourself and your life and decide what you like about it and what you do not. Your life is being tipped upside down, so it is the perfect opportunity to personally grow and benefit from the process. Here are some tips to do achieve this.

  1. Find yourself a positive support network. Take a look at the people you currently surround yourself with. Are they supportive and encouraging or are they in fact keeping you in the doldrums and simply going over and over the past. Now is the time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
  1. Keep a journal. This is a great way to gather your thoughts.Journal writing is an individual thing. Some people write pages and pages of expressive dialogue while others do points, drawings and even lists. It doesn't matter what the journal looks like, it matters that you can clear your mind by writing things down
  1. Learn to ask for what you need. This is not easy for a lot of people, we are brought up to not complain and this can become do not ask for help. Find the professionals you need; a therapist, a solicitor, financial expert, children's expert, mediator, a coach, gardener, cleaner, or whom ever it is you need to help you. Interview them and see if they are the right person to take on your business.
  1. Parent your children. Love them, listen to them and hug them. Do not expect them to take sides. At all times be honest with them but remember they are children and do not need to be over-burdened with your problems. Do not over compensate your children with treats, be a parent for them that is your job.
  1. Be kind and look after yourself. While going through a separation it is essential to have all the energy you will need. By eating healthy meals,drinking plenty of water per day, getting a good nights sleep and having plenty of exercise you will give yourself the reserves and mental capacity to meet all your needs and the extra you will encounter as part of the separation process.
  1. Everyday remember the good things in your life. Your brain does not allow you to be sad and happy at the same time, so if you are constantly remembering and going over all the things in your life that do and are working your mood will be bright and your decisions will be coming from a positive and vital place.
  1. Challenge the way you think about yourself and listen very closely to the way you speak to yourself. Now is the time to get rid of all the 'I can't's' or the 'I should's'. Change the way you communicate with yourself to'I can' and 'I do'. How you communicate with yourself will directly effect how you communicate with others. Make sure you talk to yourself with absolute respect and dignity. Get rid of 'should' and replace it with 'could'.
  1. Written goals are a great way to get and keep focus. Look at each section of your life, write down how it looks today and give it a score out of ten. Write a new goal for that section, and every day without fail do something to work toward that new goal.
  1. Keep the separation in its rightful place. Do not let it take over your life. You are still a friend, parent, family member; you can still work,laugh, and be good company. Separation is a massive change but losing yourself in it makes it bigger, overwhelming. Continue to do the things you enjoy.People have the tendency to give up pleasures when going through a stressful time. Your hobbies, joys and enjoyments need to be prioritised.
  1. Look at your communication skills. Separation includes negotiations, and pushing the same old buttons is only conducive to a longer,more bitter settlement. If there are children involved in the separation then you are going to have an ongoing relationship with your ex-partner. Look at the way you speak to or the way you react to your ex-partner. Always remember you only have the power to change yourself, if they choose fighting words or bullying words, you do not have to react and can change the outcome by changing your behaviour.
  1. Do not date for at least one year. By being alone you have the time to learn from your last relationship. You have the time to change those areas and habits that have not worked for you in the past. Being content to be alone and liking your own company makes you more readily able to understand what it really is you want from a relationship.

About the Author

Nicola Baume is a qualified life coach and provides divorce coaching, a form of life coaching specifically tailored for people going through separation and divorce.

After a divorce in 2003, Nicola Baume became aware that the emotional and financial pressures on herself and her ex-partner made the divorce process difficult.

As a result, Nicola qualified as a life coach and established Baume & Co to help people going through separation and divorce to rebuild self-respect and self-confidence, allowing a faster and calmer transition to a new life.

Baume & Co also offers practical support including helping people with the'nuts and bolts' such as setting up a new home, organising professionals such as a new accountant and taking care of your health.

For more information  (02) 9922 4132 or 0407 251 266.

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