Dealing With Work During a Divorce

Reviewed Jun 30, 2017

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Summary

  • Keep work and home separate.
  • Get support.
  • Focus on productive work.

Going through a divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. Even when a split is amicable, adjusting to the life changes brought about by divorce can cause emotional turmoil, and it’s only natural for these feelings to affect your life—both at home and at work. Fortunately, you can take steps to help minimize this stress on the job.

  • Devote a segment of time each day to divorce details.  If you have an attorney, use this time to provide information and facts she has requested. If you are on good terms with your ex, set aside time to discuss details of the divorce with him or her.
  • Have realistic expectations about your emotions. You are normal if you feel everything from rage to enormous relief. Remember, a mountain of emotions you’ve suppressed for years might come crashing down. Even if you are not angry, divorce is a major life change, and it will take time to adjust. Keep in mind that divorce is the death of a relationship. You will grieve in stages—with emotional issues surfacing for years afterward.
  • Take excellent care of your physical health. Eat a well-balanced diet, and consider a multi-vitamin to replenish B-complex vitamins your body will quickly use under stress. Be sure to exercise and get enough sleep.
  • Ask good friends to meet you after work. Ideally, they should work in another setting altogether. Try to talk out your most intense frustrations early on. Tell your friends, “I’ll try not to use you as a crying towel too long.” Otherwise, you may lose their support totally. If you feel you need more support, see a professional counselor or look for a support group.
  • Carve out time for relaxation. If you take a walk with friends, have a nutritious dinner, read and relax and get a good night’s sleep, you’ll awaken more refreshed to tackle your job the next day. Besides, recreation time can help you balance the emotional overload you’ll experience for some time.

Focus on productive work

  • Do not share details with co-workers. While you may think chatting at work about your pain feels comforting, you will only supply grist for the gossip mill—starring you.
  • Try to avoid thinking about your situation at work. Instead, use work time to give your mind a break from your personal turmoil.
  • Use your work time in a wise and focused way. Stay absorbed in keeping everything on track for long-term payoffs—for you and your employer. For instance, force yourself to make phone calls you’ve been putting off. Tie up loose ends on major projects. Spend time outlining plans that require you to think creatively.
  • Stay in control on the job. The healthiness of staying “creative” on the job—planning meetings, devising work solutions and contacting new people to assist your employer’s business—will help you look and feel very much in control. Work may be your saving grace during a divorce. Failing to focus at work—with leftover work to bring home—will simply destroy your ability to control your personal life further.

Difficult divorces

All divorces are difficult, but some involve more animosity, fighting and legal and financial complications than others. In these cases, it may be even more difficult to remain focused at work. If you find that in spite of taking steps to reduce stress you are still having trouble coping, seek help from a professional counselor or your employee assistance program. A counselor can help you cope with the painful feelings you are experiencing.

By Judi Light Hopson and Melanie O'Brien
Source: Judi Light Hopson is the co-author of Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress.

Summary

  • Keep work and home separate.
  • Get support.
  • Focus on productive work.

Going through a divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. Even when a split is amicable, adjusting to the life changes brought about by divorce can cause emotional turmoil, and it’s only natural for these feelings to affect your life—both at home and at work. Fortunately, you can take steps to help minimize this stress on the job.

  • Devote a segment of time each day to divorce details.  If you have an attorney, use this time to provide information and facts she has requested. If you are on good terms with your ex, set aside time to discuss details of the divorce with him or her.
  • Have realistic expectations about your emotions. You are normal if you feel everything from rage to enormous relief. Remember, a mountain of emotions you’ve suppressed for years might come crashing down. Even if you are not angry, divorce is a major life change, and it will take time to adjust. Keep in mind that divorce is the death of a relationship. You will grieve in stages—with emotional issues surfacing for years afterward.
  • Take excellent care of your physical health. Eat a well-balanced diet, and consider a multi-vitamin to replenish B-complex vitamins your body will quickly use under stress. Be sure to exercise and get enough sleep.
  • Ask good friends to meet you after work. Ideally, they should work in another setting altogether. Try to talk out your most intense frustrations early on. Tell your friends, “I’ll try not to use you as a crying towel too long.” Otherwise, you may lose their support totally. If you feel you need more support, see a professional counselor or look for a support group.
  • Carve out time for relaxation. If you take a walk with friends, have a nutritious dinner, read and relax and get a good night’s sleep, you’ll awaken more refreshed to tackle your job the next day. Besides, recreation time can help you balance the emotional overload you’ll experience for some time.

Focus on productive work

  • Do not share details with co-workers. While you may think chatting at work about your pain feels comforting, you will only supply grist for the gossip mill—starring you.
  • Try to avoid thinking about your situation at work. Instead, use work time to give your mind a break from your personal turmoil.
  • Use your work time in a wise and focused way. Stay absorbed in keeping everything on track for long-term payoffs—for you and your employer. For instance, force yourself to make phone calls you’ve been putting off. Tie up loose ends on major projects. Spend time outlining plans that require you to think creatively.
  • Stay in control on the job. The healthiness of staying “creative” on the job—planning meetings, devising work solutions and contacting new people to assist your employer’s business—will help you look and feel very much in control. Work may be your saving grace during a divorce. Failing to focus at work—with leftover work to bring home—will simply destroy your ability to control your personal life further.

Difficult divorces

All divorces are difficult, but some involve more animosity, fighting and legal and financial complications than others. In these cases, it may be even more difficult to remain focused at work. If you find that in spite of taking steps to reduce stress you are still having trouble coping, seek help from a professional counselor or your employee assistance program. A counselor can help you cope with the painful feelings you are experiencing.

By Judi Light Hopson and Melanie O'Brien
Source: Judi Light Hopson is the co-author of Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress.

Summary

  • Keep work and home separate.
  • Get support.
  • Focus on productive work.

Going through a divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. Even when a split is amicable, adjusting to the life changes brought about by divorce can cause emotional turmoil, and it’s only natural for these feelings to affect your life—both at home and at work. Fortunately, you can take steps to help minimize this stress on the job.

  • Devote a segment of time each day to divorce details.  If you have an attorney, use this time to provide information and facts she has requested. If you are on good terms with your ex, set aside time to discuss details of the divorce with him or her.
  • Have realistic expectations about your emotions. You are normal if you feel everything from rage to enormous relief. Remember, a mountain of emotions you’ve suppressed for years might come crashing down. Even if you are not angry, divorce is a major life change, and it will take time to adjust. Keep in mind that divorce is the death of a relationship. You will grieve in stages—with emotional issues surfacing for years afterward.
  • Take excellent care of your physical health. Eat a well-balanced diet, and consider a multi-vitamin to replenish B-complex vitamins your body will quickly use under stress. Be sure to exercise and get enough sleep.
  • Ask good friends to meet you after work. Ideally, they should work in another setting altogether. Try to talk out your most intense frustrations early on. Tell your friends, “I’ll try not to use you as a crying towel too long.” Otherwise, you may lose their support totally. If you feel you need more support, see a professional counselor or look for a support group.
  • Carve out time for relaxation. If you take a walk with friends, have a nutritious dinner, read and relax and get a good night’s sleep, you’ll awaken more refreshed to tackle your job the next day. Besides, recreation time can help you balance the emotional overload you’ll experience for some time.

Focus on productive work

  • Do not share details with co-workers. While you may think chatting at work about your pain feels comforting, you will only supply grist for the gossip mill—starring you.
  • Try to avoid thinking about your situation at work. Instead, use work time to give your mind a break from your personal turmoil.
  • Use your work time in a wise and focused way. Stay absorbed in keeping everything on track for long-term payoffs—for you and your employer. For instance, force yourself to make phone calls you’ve been putting off. Tie up loose ends on major projects. Spend time outlining plans that require you to think creatively.
  • Stay in control on the job. The healthiness of staying “creative” on the job—planning meetings, devising work solutions and contacting new people to assist your employer’s business—will help you look and feel very much in control. Work may be your saving grace during a divorce. Failing to focus at work—with leftover work to bring home—will simply destroy your ability to control your personal life further.

Difficult divorces

All divorces are difficult, but some involve more animosity, fighting and legal and financial complications than others. In these cases, it may be even more difficult to remain focused at work. If you find that in spite of taking steps to reduce stress you are still having trouble coping, seek help from a professional counselor or your employee assistance program. A counselor can help you cope with the painful feelings you are experiencing.

By Judi Light Hopson and Melanie O'Brien
Source: Judi Light Hopson is the co-author of Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress.

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