Maintaining Balance Through the Stress and Overwhelm of Divorce

How do I stay balanced when I’m feeling the loss of control, stress and overwhelm of Divorce?

This is a question that gets asked all the time. For many parents, going through the transition of divorce with children and trying to figure out how to balance it all out can be a struggle.

So what can I do to maintain balance?

One concept that helps with this is the balance wheel.  The balance wheel contains the core areas that we need to tap into everyday to remind ourselves;  What about me? It’s a kind of mental health check that you can do throughout the day. It’s a way to stop and say;

  • Hey, how am I doing?
  • What am I needing right now?
  • What about me?

So the balance wheel works like this. Draw a big circle on a piece of paper. Then draw three lines across the circle like spokes in a wheel so that there are now six sections. In each section, write a single word to represent one area of your life, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Nutritional, Social, and Family.

Each section represents an area of your life to focus on briefly and take action on every day to help you stay balanced. The six sections are explained below.

Nutritional
So for example in regards to Nutritional, you may say to yourself; Am I hungry?  Have I eaten anything today?  Am I thirsty?  Do I need to step away and eat that granola bar I have? Stopping what you are doing briefly to have that thought takes just a few seconds, and acting on that thought, in this case eating something, takes just a few minutes.

Emotional
The Emotional action could be something like; Did I call my sister back to tell her how I was doing because she called last night? Did I make that lunch date with a friend for Saturday so that I have a break for myself and can sit and chat about the week?  Did I read from my new book to relax last night?

Physical
This is in regards to your physical self, it’s simply asking yourself things like; Hey, have I stepped outside and felt the sun today or the breeze? Have I taken my 10 minute walk? Have I gone to the gym or that yoga class that I paid for? So, are you taking care of your physical body? Are you tuned into it and responding when it cries out to you to take care of it?

Spiritual
This is about your spiritual self. Your spiritual self is your connection to anything that brings a sense of peace and provides a way to practice your beliefs. It could take place while in a special building, in groups or by yourself, listening to a meditation tape in a hammock, in a favorite chair with a cup of tea at night. It’s any way to give yourself 10 minutes to connect with your higher power, with yourself, and feel a sense of well-being.

Social
Social tends to be a category that gets pushed away when feeling overwhelmed. Give yourself the pleasure to connect with loved ones and friends and have lunch, meet for coffee, or talk on the phone.  Many tend to shy away from others when feeling bogged down and overwhelmed because they don’t like to put their heaviness onto others, but being with others may be exactly what’s needed.

Family
Make time to sit down with your son or daughter and talk with them for a few minutes to see how they’re doing and how are they feeling. When you stay connected with your children and have that talk time for even five or ten minutes each day, it helps keep you feel connected.

Staying Balanced

  • So each day, spend at least five or ten minutes on each of the six areas of the balance wheel.
  • Remember to take care of yourself and ask yourself; What about me? How am I doing?
  • Give yourself this mental health check every day and make sure to take action.

This will go a long way to helping you feel more grounded and in balance.

In support…

Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Support System Inc.

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This post was written by Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill who has written 10 posts on Empowering Children of Divorce.

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