Dawn Romeo

Divorce is often compared to a rollercoaster, and for good reason. The emotional highs and lows, unexpected twists, and sudden drops can leave you feeling disoriented and overwhelmed. For women, navigating this tumultuous journey can be particularly challenging, given societal expectations, familial responsibilities, and personal aspirations. This blog aims to shed light on the emotional stages of divorce, offering insights and strategies to help you regain control and find your footing amidst the chaos.

1. The Initial Shock: Grappling with Reality

When the decision to divorce is first made, whether by you, your spouse, or mutually, the initial shock can be paralyzing. This stage often brings a whirlwind of emotions—denial, disbelief, and a profound sense of loss.

Understanding the Shock: The initial phase of divorce is characterized by a sense of unreality. You might find yourself questioning how you reached this point, replaying events, and looking for signs you might have missed. It’s common to feel numb or detached as your mind tries to process the enormity of the change. This reaction is a natural defense mechanism to protect you from the immediate impact of the emotional upheaval.

Symptoms of Initial Shock:

  • Denial: Struggling to accept that the marriage is ending.
  • Disbelief: Feeling as if this is all a bad dream.
  • Emotional Numbness: Detachment from reality and emotions.
  • Confusion: Trying to understand what went wrong.
  • Fear: Anxiety about the future and the unknown.

Coping Strategy: Allow Yourself to Feel

  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help clarify your emotions and provide a safe space to express what you might not be able to say out loud. Journaling can serve as a therapeutic release, helping you make sense of your emotions. Dedicate a few minutes each day to write honestly and openly about your feelings. Over time, reviewing your entries can help you see your progress and understand your emotional journey.

  • Talking to a Trusted Friend: Choosing who to lean on during this period is crucial. Sharing your feelings with someone who understands and supports you can provide comfort and perspective. Be careful of those who may not have the emotional bandwidth to support you fully, as their own unhappiness could inadvertently affect your healing process. Seek out friends or family members who listen without judgment and offer constructive support.

  • Seeking Therapy: A professional therapist can offer guidance and strategies to cope with the overwhelming emotions, helping you navigate through this difficult time. Therapists provide a neutral space to explore your feelings and develop coping mechanisms. They can also help you understand and process complex emotions, facilitating a healthier path forward.

Grieving the End of Your Marriage: Grief isn’t just for death; it also applies to the end of significant relationships. Acknowledge that it’s okay to mourn the loss of your marriage and the future you had envisioned together, even if the ending was your idea. This process is essential for emotional healing. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, anger, and confusion that come with loss, as these emotions are part of the grieving process.

Practicing Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions and that it’s okay to take time to process them. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend in a similar situation. Remind yourself that it’s okay to have bad days and that healing is a gradual process.

Ways to Practice Self-Compassion:

  • Positive Affirmations: Regularly remind yourself of your strengths and resilience.
  • Self-Care: Engage in activities that nurture your body and soul, such as exercise, hobbies, and relaxation techniques.
  • Avoid Self-Blame: Understand that it takes two to make or break a marriage and that you’re not solely responsible for its end.

Conclusion

The initial shock of divorce can be an overwhelming experience filled with a mixture of emotions. By acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel these emotions, seeking support from trusted friends or a therapist, and practicing self-compassion, you can navigate this challenging phase more effectively. Remember, this is just the beginning of your journey. Each step you take brings you closer to healing and rebuilding your life. Be patient with yourself and know that it’s okay to take things one day at a time. The path ahead may be difficult, but it also holds the promise of new beginnings and personal growth.

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Dawn

Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster of Divorce: A Guide for Women, Part 1

Divorce is often compared to a rollercoaster, and for good reason. The emotional highs and lows, unexpected twists, and sudden drops can leave you feeling disoriented and overwhelmed. For women, navigating this tumultuous journey can be particularly challenging, given societal expectations, familial responsibilities, and personal aspirations. This blog aims to shed light on the emotional stages of divorce, offering insights and strategies to help you regain control and find your footing amidst the chaos. 1. The Initial Shock: Grappling with Reality When the decision to divorce is first made, whether by you, your spouse, or mutually, the initial shock can be paralyzing. This stage often brings a whirlwind of emotions—denial, disbelief, and a profound sense of loss. Understanding the Shock: The initial phase of divorce is characterized by a sense of unreality. You might find yourself questioning how you reached this point, replaying events, and looking for signs you might have missed. It’s common to feel numb or detached as your mind tries to process the enormity of the change. This reaction is a natural defense mechanism to protect you from the immediate impact of the emotional upheaval. Symptoms of Initial Shock: Denial: Struggling to accept that the marriage is ending. Disbelief: Feeling as if this is all a bad dream. Emotional Numbness: Detachment from reality and emotions. Confusion: Trying to understand what went wrong. Fear: Anxiety about the future and the unknown. Coping Strategy: Allow Yourself to Feel Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help clarify your emotions and provide a safe space to express what you might not be able to say out loud. Journaling can serve as a therapeutic release, helping you make sense of your emotions. Dedicate a few minutes each day to write honestly and openly about your feelings. Over time, reviewing your entries can help you see your progress and understand your emotional journey. Talking to a Trusted Friend: Choosing who to lean on during this period is crucial. Sharing your feelings with someone who understands and supports you can provide comfort and perspective. Be careful of those who may not have the emotional bandwidth to support you fully, as their own unhappiness could inadvertently affect your healing process. Seek out friends or family members who listen without judgment and offer constructive support. Seeking Therapy: A professional therapist can offer guidance and strategies to cope with the overwhelming emotions, helping you navigate through this difficult time. Therapists provide a neutral space to explore your feelings and develop coping mechanisms. They can also help you understand and process complex emotions, facilitating a healthier path forward. Grieving the End of Your Marriage: Grief isn’t just for death; it also applies to the end of significant relationships. Acknowledge that it’s okay to mourn the loss of your marriage and the future you had envisioned together, even if the ending was your idea. This process is essential for emotional healing. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, anger, and confusion that come with loss, as these emotions are part of the grieving process. Practicing Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions and that it’s okay to take time to process them. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend in a similar situation. Remind yourself that it’s okay to have bad days and that healing is a gradual process. Ways to Practice Self-Compassion: Positive Affirmations: Regularly remind yourself of your strengths and resilience. Self-Care: Engage in activities that nurture your body and soul, such as exercise, hobbies, and relaxation techniques. Avoid Self-Blame: Understand that it takes two to make or break a marriage and that you’re not solely responsible for its end. Conclusion The initial shock of divorce can be an overwhelming experience filled with a mixture of emotions. By acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel these emotions, seeking support from trusted friends or a therapist, and practicing self-compassion, you can navigate this challenging phase more effectively. Remember, this is just the beginning of your journey. Each step you take brings you closer to healing and rebuilding your life. Be patient with yourself and know that it’s okay to take things one day at a time. The path ahead may be difficult, but it also holds the promise of new beginnings and personal growth.

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Dawn

Empowering Your Journey: Life Coaching Insights For Thriving After Divorce

Navigating divorce can be especially challenging for women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. After spending many years in a relationship, the prospect of starting over alone can feel daunting. As a life coach, I’ve worked closely with women in this stage of life and witnessed firsthand the upheaval it brings. Yet, amidst the chaos, there lies an opportunity for profound personal growth and transformation. While I don’t want to sugarcoat the reality of divorce, I firmly believe it can be a catalyst for positive change. It’s a chance to break free from limitations imposed by past relationships and to envision and create a life that truly reflects who you are. Perhaps you’ve felt stifled in your former life, but now, the possibilities are endless. This period of transition opens up space for exploration. You might be considering where you want to live, exploring new career paths, pursuing further education or training, or even starting your own business. Your hobbies and interests may take on new significance, and you may find yourself seeking out connections with others who align with your values and aspirations. Regardless of the circumstances that led to your divorce, it presents a unique opportunity for reinvention. Whether it’s finding a job for financial stability, relocating to a more suitable environment, or expanding your social circle, this is your chance to redefine your life on your own terms. It’s important to acknowledge that divorce brings significant challenges, both emotionally and physically. However, with the right support and mindset, it can also be a time of immense growth and empowerment. In coaching principles, we focus on embracing change, setting meaningful goals, and taking proactive steps towards creating the life you desire. By tapping into your strengths and resilience, you can navigate this transition with confidence and emerge stronger than ever before. In this new series of blog posts, we’ll delve deeper into strategies for navigating the complexities of divorce and transforming adversity into opportunity. We’ll explore coaching principles aimed at embracing change, setting meaningful goals, and taking proactive steps towards creating the life you desire. Together, we’ll uncover your strengths and resilience, guiding you through this transition with confidence and empowerment. Stay tuned for valuable insights and practical advice to support you on your journey from surviving to thriving post-divorce.

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Dawn

Women and Divorce After 40

Divorce is a difficult process for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for women who get divorced when their children are grown. After all, they have spent years raising their children together with their spouse, and now they are faced with the prospect of starting over on their own. As a life coach, I have worked with many women who have gone through this experience. I have seen firsthand how it can be a time of great upheaval and change. But I have also seen how it can be an opportunity for women to reinvent themselves and create a new and better life for themselves. If you are a woman who is going through a divorce, there are a few things that I want you to know: Divorce can be a difficult time, but it is also an opportunity for growth and change. With time and support, you will be able to heal and move on with your life. Here are some additional tips that I have found helpful for women who are going through a divorce: Divorce can be a challenging experience, but it is also an opportunity for growth and change. With time and support, you will be able to heal and move on with your life.

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Dawn

Stop Playing Small: Overcoming the First Hurdle of Achievement

Do you find that you don’t manage to take more than a few baby steps towards achieving your goal before you fall back into familiar patterns of behavior? If so, you’re not alone. There is a reason that most people never seriously pursue their dreams or aspirations and believe it or not, it’s the same reason every time – fear. Fear is something which unites us all; it has been experienced in some form or another by every human being since the dawn of our existence, and in modern times it has become our common enemy. It is the barbed wire fence around your comfort zone. It is the voice in your head telling you not to go to the gym because you’ll be laughed at, or not to speak at a work conference because you’ll mess up, or not to try and achieve anything new – in case you fail and feel worthless. Fear was not always a force for evil; in our early existence it was absolutely vital to avoid extinction. We needed to feel the physical and emotional effects of fear powerfully enough that we would choose not to put ourselves into fear-provoking situations; because in those days, that “situation” might have been stumbling into a mountain lion’s cave, and not running away would have meant certain death. So, our minds are programmed to experience fear intensely and to evade the cause of that fear at all costs. Unfortunately, we have had little time to evolve beyond this primitive mechanism and mountain lions are not a problem for most of us anymore. Modern man’s every day fears come from threats to our comfort, pride or sense of self-worth, but our minds respond to fear indiscriminately, whether the cause is a life-threatening predator or potential social embarrassment. We often don’t realize the full extent of fear’s influence on our lives, because we don’t call it fear; instead we refer to it as anxiety, stress, worry, or something else which wrongly identifies the fear at work as being some intrinsic and unavoidable personal trait. Look over the following questions and make a note of your answers: Do you have a particular goal, something that you are desperate to achieve, but find that you have never taken serious steps towards achieving it? Do you regularly begin projects but never finish them? Do you usually expect to fail at what you set out to do? Do you suffer from fears or anxieties that prevent you from putting yourself in certain situations? E.g. fear of crowds, social situations or strangers? Do you suffer with unfounded fears or phobias? E.g. fear of heights, snakes or small spaces? Do you feel your fears get in the way of you leading a fulfilling life? If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, it is likely that fear is preventing you from achieving your goals. To put fear in its place, we first need to recognize that most fear is not representative of real-world threats to our well-being. If the fear-provoking situation can’t actually harm you, E. g. public speaking, then the negative emotion you attach to it is irrational – it is a product of your still-ingrained prehistoric survival instinct. Secondly, we need to embrace the idea that fear can be a fantastic learning tool you can harness for personal growth. Think of your fear as big, flashing signposts that mark the edges of your comfort zone. Knowing where these boundaries are, is the first step in expanding them. When you want to grow, or take your life in a new direction you cannot operate within the same familiar parameters as you always have. Experiencing discomfort is a vital part of personal growth and the feeling itself is only ever temporary; once you have crossed your comfort zone boundaries a few times the fences will move outwards and you will have claimed that new territory as familiar ground. If you continually let fear restrict you and do not challenge your boundaries you will never truly make progress. Stop playing small; harnessing your fear is the fast track to goal achievement.

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Get Back on Track with Your New Year’s Goals

As January draws to a close and the fire of determination fueling your New Year’s resolution starts to wane, you may find yourself deviating from your plan, losing momentum or just giving up altogether. First of all, don’t beat yourself up, you’re not alone. Statistics indicate that by July, less than 10% of people feel they have successfully stuck to their New Year’s plan and nearly half of all Americans don’t even bother setting themselves a goal in the first place; usually for fear that they will not succeed. If you haven’t set yourself a goal this year, it’s not too late to start now. There is no rule stating that all successful resolutions begin on January 1st – in fact many of them don’t! It turns out that starting your New Year’s resolution later could actually be a very wise idea; let’s face it, most of us aren’t feeling particularly motivated on New Year’s day when we are tired, over-indulged and completely out of our normal routine. So, if you haven’t set yourself a target already, why not start planning now? Don’t be arbitrary when picking the day to begin your journey; choose based on what will best suit you and your lifestyle, then keep reading to find out how you can become one of the successful 9.2% (yes – that’s all it is!). If you have already started and broken your New Year’s resolution and are feeling like you’ve failed… you haven’t. Stepping off the path does not mean that you have to stay there. Long-term goals take more than one moment’s worth of positive energy to achieve, so don’t think a moment of weakness (or even a couple of days of weakness) means that you have failed. If you re-focus yourself and pick up your good habits again then these set-backs will eventually be minor blips on an otherwise progressive road to success! So, how do we get back on track with our New Year goal? Start by considering: what is the key to success? Many of you will have answered “willpower”. Well, this simply isn’t the case! Remember that willpower is a finite resource – you can force yourself into unfamiliar habits, into doing or not doing a certain thing, but you cannot keep it up indefinitely, nobody can. As soon as your resolve begins to weaken, self-doubt will creep in. Fear of failure is without question the biggest act of self-sabotage any goal-setter can commit. Success relies on a deep-rooted belief that you can and will achieve what you set out to. To find out more about how your internal commentary affects your journey to goal-accomplishment, read “7 Steps to Success in the New Year”. For now, let’s look at goal clarification and how it can ensure your success! 1.Make sure your goal is specific Research suggests that people who are explicit about their New Year goals are 10 times more likely to succeed than those who are not. Your goal must be specific and quantifiable; you need to say what you want to do and when you want to do it. It is not enough to simply say: “I want to be slimmer by the summer”. Instead say, “I want to lose 20lbs by June 30th this year. I will achieve this by losing 5lbs each month, following a meticulously thought-out healthy eating and exercise plan.” Whatever your target, specificity and planning are key. 2.Make sure your plan is detailed A detailed plan makes navigating any journey easier; details are what will help you as and when you encounter obstacles. Think of using a map to find an unfamiliar place; a map that includes side-streets and landmarks will get you to your destination with far less hiccups than a simple list of directions. Your plan must take into account any difficulties you are likely to face and be comprised of step-by-step milestones, leading up to your final goal. 3.Make sure your milestones are achievable Your milestone achievements or “mini-goals” must be attainable. It is no good saying you will lose 6lbs in a week or study for three hours every evening – aiming too high too quickly sets us up for failure. Instead, your plan should include many small milestones set within an achievable time frame. This will give you tons of opportunities to pat yourself on the back as you successfully tick off each achievement!

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7 Steps to Success in the New Year

  ‘New year, new you’: it’s a lovely idea, but how many of us actually manage to follow through with the New Year’s resolutions we set ourselves? The truth is that most New Year goals fall flat before January is even over. Whether you want to lose weight, get a new job, develop a new skill or take your life in an entirely new direction, you can do it, and the secret to success is simpler than you think! Success, no matter what the task, grows from the understanding that every goal is achievable. Success is never a matter of ‘if’; it is only a matter of ‘how’ and ‘when’. All too often we allow our self-doubt and fear of failure to define our journey and set us up to lose before we have even begun. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are far more relevant to the achievement of your goals than any external circumstances. What you tell yourself, about yourself, defines your real-world identity; so, if you secretly believe that you are not capable of achieving something, you will not achieve it. This idea is encapsulated perfectly in something Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t– your right.” You may portray every outward impression of confidence and success, but if your inner story doesn’t match you are setting yourself up to fail. It is not enough to simply outwardly deny your fears of failure; you must internally embrace your impending success to prevent your negative thoughts and feelings from manifesting in the real world. Understand that, what we focus on grows. If you think you aren’t capable of becoming who you want to be, you won’t be. When we expect failure we subconsciously hold back from fully committing to the work. If you don’t give it everything you’ve got you will feel like you can let yourself off when you don’t succeed. And of course, half-hearted attempts will rarely get you anywhere. This is how fear of failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. To achieve your goals, you must think differently about the challenges you will face. Success is not about the absence of obstacles; to succeed you must accept the fact that you will face obstacles and that they are a necessary part of your journey. The experience of working through the problems that lay across your path will strengthen your resolve and equip you with the necessary skills and mind-set to get to where you want to be. Follow these seven steps to success and change your story this New Year! Determine what you want your story to be. Be as specific as you can. It is not enough to say what you don’t want; you must create a detailed picture of what you do.  Make a mind-map or a vision board which represents where you want to be. Be mindful of how you speak and think about yourself. Treat yourself kindly; don’t beat yourself up for occasions when you have failed in the past. Instead, remind yourself daily how capable you are and praise yourself for your successes. Become grateful for people, experiences and the things you already have. Stamp out negative thought patterns by focusing on all the positivity you already have in your life. Limit your exposure to people who are critical, negative, self-sabotaging and draining. Other people’s negative behavior can impose limitations on you. Keep what you are trying to accomplish with you literally or figuratively. Carry with you a reminder of what you are trying to achieve. Seek out like-minded people. Seek the company of others who have set themselves on a similar journey to your own. Being around people like this will help to keep up your enthusiasm and optimism. Don’t give up! Do not get disheartened if your goals take longer to achieve than you expected or if you experience set-backs. Remind yourself of how far you have come already, and remember, change is a journey, not a destination. Let go of your concerns about failure.   When you assume success comes from  commitment to your goal, it simply becomes a matter of getting the information you need, formulating a plan of attack and then following through with it. This formula works for literally any goal, whether you’re planning to lose 5 lbs or climb Everest; there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames!  

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