Divorce is emotionally difficult. If you have been left, if you have made the decision to leave or if you have both agreed the relationship is over, you should look for emotional support. In this episode of the Smart Divorce Podcast, we explore the mental and emotional impact and what you can do about it in more detail. Our guests are Tom Nash, Sue Palmer Conn & Susan Leigh
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Dr. Sue Palmer-Conn
Dr. Sue Palmer-Conn is a Chartered Psychologist with a background in child and forensic psychology. Sue is a multi-award-winning professional divorce coach and the UK’s only certified discernment counsellor who has worked with more than a thousand men, women, couples, and their children over the last twelve years.
Sue brings a wealth of knowledge about the emotional side of divorce as well as an understanding of the legal, financial, and parenting side. Sue’s experience as a psychologist gives her a great understanding of the human mind. She has experience of working with clients facing domestic abuse, narcissistic abuse, and coercive control.
Sue divorced at the age of fifty and subsequently built a successful academic career as well as her coaching and counselling practices. Since her retirement from academia, she has concentrated on supporting people through their divorce giving them the benefit of her personal and professional experience. Sue is co-founder of the Divorce Coaching Academy and The Family Transition Company. Sue was voted one of the 100 most influential women in the UK for 2023.
Susan is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who has specialised in relationship counselling since 1998. Based in Altrincham, Cheshire and South Manchester, Susan works with couples in matrimonial or dispute situations, helping to mediate and find compromise no matter the context.
Susan qualified with the Academy of Curative Hypnotherapy and holds the Counselling Advanced Level 4 Diploma. She is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and is a member of the College of Medicine. Susan has appeared on BBC TV and hosts her own afternoon chat show on Trafford Sound radio.
Tom Nash – aka Mr Divorce Coach, is an internationally certified Coach, specialising in Divorce, Separation & Family Coaching.
He is a child of divorce, a divorcee himself, a father, step-father & successful co-parent of his own blended family.
Tom works with men, women & couples, assisting in their emotional well-being, positive mindset and practical support through a clients divorce/separation.
Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.
You can contact Tamsin at email@example.com or arrange a free initial meeting using this link. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK
Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd
P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…
Sponsored by Ampla Finance
(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)
Tamsin Caine 0:06
I’m so excited to share this one with you. Today we’re going to be talking about how to mentally and emotionally navigate divorce. We’ve got three incredible experts joining me today on the panel to give you some really great tips and advice. So let’s jump straight in. Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce podcast. I am delighted to be joined as always by an esteemed panel of guests to talk to you today. Some real experts in the area of mental and emotional health, so I’m going to let them introduce themselves. My name is Tamsin Caine, and I am a chartered financial planner and restoration accredited divorce specialist. And I’m going to hand you first over to Tom to introduce himself. How you doing, Tom?
Tom Nash 1:00
I’m very well thank you, nice to see you again, thanks so much. Hi, everyone. I’m Tom Nash, otherwise known as Mr. Divorce coach. I’m internationally certified coach, your linguistic programming Master Practitioner, cognitive to behaviour, timeline therapy, hypnotherapy as well. I work with men, women and couples to help support them through their emotional journey, their support separation, as well as their positive mindset and practical situations such as co parenting step families, blended families, etc. I also partner with one of our other guests. So in a company called the Divorce Coaching Academy, we are the UK only externally accredited diploma in divorce coach training suits a little bit more.
Tamsin Caine 1:42
Fantastic. Thank you, Tom. And if you are listening to us on on audio only you might want to at some point nip over to YouTube to see Tom’s fantastic yellow chair that he’s sitting on today. And he’s quite famous for. Thank you, Tom. And next we have Sue Palmer Conn. Hi, Sue. How you doing?
Sue Palmer-Conn 2:05
I’m good. Yes, thank you. I’m interested POM account aka the divorce doctor. I’m a certified divorce coach, certified divorce specialist, certified discernment counsellor, chartered psychologist. I’ve been practising now for about 12 years, and I’ve worked with over 30 men, women, couples children throughout the whole divorce journey.
Tamsin Caine 2:31
Crikey. That’s a heck of a list there Sue isn’t it? And last, but absolutely not least because, her, podcast episode, which is the first ever of the Smart Divorce podcasts is still number one in charts of episodes. So I’m very delighted to welcome back again, my good friend, Susan Leigh, Susan, how you doing?
Susan Leigh 2:55
I’m great. Thank you. I’m a counsellor, and a Hypnotherapist. I’ve been practising now for about 30 years, I know, I don’t look like I could possibly have been doing that. However I work with a lot of what I work with is the underpinning stuff. So it’s like stress that percolates and contaminates and makes a mess of our relationships, our mental health, our coping strategies or resilience. And I work a lot with individuals and or couples, and associated parties, to help them feel more positive about themselves to help them. A lot of it is about perspective, helping them have a different perspective on things that are happening. Life is a journey. And hopefully, we are able to appreciate the lessons from everything that happens to us. So it’s about working with that kind of approach and strategy with my clients. Thank you.
Tamsin Caine 3:46
Lovely. Thank you, Susan. And we were just talking before we came on to let you know that Susan is the celebrity amongst us at the moment because she’s been all over the BBC talking about her work, which is, which is fantastic. And just so that you can go and check out that Susan really doesn’t look like she’s been in this for 30 years. You can nip on the YouTube channel and check her out. And so today we’re going to be talking about how to mentally and emotionally navigate divorce. And of course, before you get to the divorce process, there’s they’re deciding whether to whether to leave or not guess that’s the that will be the first point at which you might be fine feeling emotions around this. So I’m what what would you say are going to be the sorts of things people are going through when they’re kind of going through that decision making process before before they separate?
Tom Nash 4:46
Yeah, I’ll try and keep busy with things because I could probably talk about just this one question for about four hours. But everybody’s different, but a whole host of things. I know for me when I was going through My preface so my decision base it’s so many fears so exactly what Susan same stress, the anxiety stuff that’s underpinning it all the fears over that, you know that the decision that you’re likely potentially likely to make is going to start these actually going to hurt can impact a whole number of people, not just the immediate spouse, but children or even if you don’t have children, extended family, friends, etc. Ben’s, again, just his own personal experience, I had a panic attack, which I thought was a heart attack, I collapsed but at work through sheer stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, poor self care, using other outlets negatively drinking too much, etc. I’m not looking after myself. And just primarily purely driven by fears, worries, concerns, angst of all those what ifs, how could this happen? I bet it’s in the best way, but not having a clue where to start. And it goes, Why myself and Sue always kind of driving all those kinds of alternative routes for the emotional and psychological support in terms of coaches, therapists, counsellors, hidden therapists, etc. because I didn’t know that this existed when I was going through my daughter’s separation, how do I have known I 100% would have used software to help me get my head in the game and to really figure out what did I want? What did I want to do? How did I want to go about it, to help lessen all of that, because it was all just inside and that mind body connection come out, in a way in a shape and a form? And like I say, for movement, I collapsed and had a panic attack? Because I just didn’t know how to process things, where to process them? And how to figure out what and how to go about it.
Tamsin Caine 6:45
Absolutely. And so those feelings can sometimes make us question whether we’re doing the right thing or not. And and there is there is professional support out there, isn’t there? What, how, how would the divorce coach out to this to this situation? How would they be able to help?
Sue Palmer-Conn 7:06
And I mean, there’s there’s also discernment coaching or counselling, because in every situation, there’s going to be one partner that’s leaning in, still wanting the relationship to start to survive, the other one’s leaning out. And in my case, I was the leaning partner, although I actually instigated the divorce, but my ex had an affair. So he was already halfway out. But in most cases, people try, you know, think, well, I’ve got to go to marriage guidance counselling. And the problem is, if one person is already halfway out of that relationship, no matter how much you spend, how many times how many hours you spend, in guidance, it’s not going to help it’s not going to work. On this, that’s where discernment comes in, is helping people to make a more informed decision about what is the right path, so that they have a short term engagement with a counsellor or coach. And they think about what their role what what’s the core problem, and what was their role in that problem. And work on a one to one and couples that want a couple basis until they’re confident and clear that they’re making that right decision. Now a divorce coach would probably come in just with one partner, probably at this stage wouldn’t work with both partners, unless they’ve had some of that discernment training. But working with one partner, it would very much depend on whether it was the leaning in partner who would need a lot of emotional support to cope with the shock, the horror, the feeling of grief. You know, helping them to accept that this is a decision that’s probably been made a long time ago by the leaning out partner and helping them to come to terms with and gain the strength to cope with with what’s been done to them as it feels at that stage. If it’s the leaning out partner, they probably need more support and how to tell their spouse how to ease the burden on the family. How to sell their conscious if they’ve had affair and as provoked the divorce. So there’s all sorts of ways that a coach can help. And it very much depends on who comes to see them.
Tom Nash 10:13
to answer that, what I also see with a lot of clients is from deleting our partner is what kind of what I refer to as levers guilt, that self resentment, that shame that feeling that this is the thing that they know, this is where they never wanted to get to. And particularly some of their own formative childhood experiences of their own parents is relationship, divorce, etc, and actually, of how they modelled that it might be a case of actually this huge amount of internal negative dialogue with themselves. And they can really hate and resent themselves for getting to this place. And being that one that’s leaving out, when that was the thing that they’ve never wanted to do and where they never wanted to get to. And they really struggle to comprehend and find that identity part of them that has really challenged their own values about themselves.
Tamsin Caine 11:00
It’s there’s new work, work with couples as well, don’t you in in your line of work? Is your experience similar?
Susan Leigh 11:07
Yeah, because I think you often find, usually, you find that the two parties are in very different places. And also, as we’re talking about the lead up to it, you know, the decomposition of your relationship over a period of time, a lot, why are people staying as they are, you know, that can be all sorts of reasons that bind people to relationships that are unsatisfactory, and I’ve worked with couples who, you know, for years and years, one person hasn’t spoken. And the other person has spoken all the time. And so eventually, the person who’s not speaking, bottling it all up for a long, long time, eventually, ROPs and, and that person is usually the fella in the relationship, but effectively mentally walked out the door. So with all the counselling in the world ain’t gonna make much difference, because they’ve just completely have it. And so, it is about understanding where that erosion has come from, what their responsibility is in allowing that to happen in the first place. Because we have to own our not speaking role. You know, we have to own the fact that we’ve not said a blubbering word for the last 1015 20 years, you know, we’ve given permission for this to carry on in the wonderful words of Eleanor Roosevelt, we teach people how to treat us. So if we’ve been doing that, for a long time, one, we have to learn to accept our own responsibility. And two, we have to learn how to move forward in a positive way without repeating those patterns. So that’s one half of it. And the other half is what the person who has perhaps been overbearing, maybe you know, how they learn to understand why and where and what that’s all about, and where they go from here. And then sometimes, occasionally, I’ve had relationships retrieve, even after all of that situation, where they learn to respect each other, they learn to, perhaps find ways to communicate more effectively with more, I’m going to use the word authenticity, even though I hate therapy. But yeah, I mean, because it’s all jargon, isn’t it? But at the end of the day, learning to understand each other, and work better with each other and be respectful, and actually do a little bit of empathy. You know, what is it like for the other person, you know, you can do a little bit of therapy, you know, almost just started typing stuff where you actually say, you know, what’s it like, you’re the person when I behave this way. And so a lot of moving forward. And our own journey is often about understanding the dynamics of how we have been interacting with other people what we’ve given permission for, and how we move forward within sight. And honestly, I’ve had our own behaviour and our own role in that too.
Tamsin Caine 13:41
Yeah, it’s really interesting that you say that, because you can imagine a situation where you just, you just stopped speaking, you stop communicating what’s actually going on with you. And the other person feels one way but actually, they’re completely miss misinterpreting this situation is not…
Susan Leigh 13:58
Happens a lot, particularly if there are children, or there’s a financial burden between them both. Or they both think, right, I’ll wait till after Christmas, I’ll wait till after the kids go leave home and go to uni, I’ll wait till we paid the mortgage off. That can be all sorts of things that have nothing to do with loving each other. But they’re just finding, you know, effectively doing a House share for 1015 years when you know, and they perhaps don’t even like the person they’re doing the half show with all they’ve done for years. They’ve gotten into the habit of just saying, Oh, by the way, can you pick up some milk on the way home? Last time? When’s the last time you had a conversation when we’re very busy? You know, we try for a Sunday afternoon, but actually, the little ones go to football or we want to go and see gramme bar or we’ve got we’re not seeing friends for ages. So there can be all sorts of reasons why people don’t speak and that can become a habit. But you lose the joy and you lose the sharing and you lose that connection and use the sacks you know, all the things that you know, can be very important, but just effectively over time, stress and all the rest of it. That’s where I started drill down to the stress because that’s often the thing that’s underneath all of everything is the whole, the whole, that whole element of it.
Tamsin Caine 15:06
I do think we probably could have had a whole episode talking about just this one. And I think we should have an episode at some point talking about waiting until the children have left time. That’s, that’s one for my list. Isn’t that? So? That’s certainly something we can talk about. What about let’s let’s move on slightly, because otherwise, the fellow is gonna talk about this one thing? And what about once we once the decision has been made either been made for us or been made by us? What, what kind of emotional journey? Are we going to be on there? So do you want to join a start that one off for us?
Sue Palmer-Conn 15:45
Again, it will depend on whether you are the lever or the left. But I think a lot of it comes down to what what’s the future going to be like? Am I going to be on my own forever? Can I afford to live like this? What’s going to happen to the children? What’s going to happen, you know, will I still see, see the in laws, because they’ve been the baby sitters, etc. So there’s a whole raft. And again, as Susan says, it comes down to underlying stress and strain. And fear, a lot of it is fear of the unknown fear of the future. And it’s helping people to understand their emotions and to, to do a lot of this, you know, perspective taking, looking at it from everybody’s point of view, especially if they are the lever, asking them to put themselves in the other person’s chair and to develop a bit more empathy. That’s always a difficult one, getting people who are not naturally empathetic to think about the other person. And to be a bit more understanding. And then if it’s the person that’s being left, it’s helping them to not bury the the negative feelings, but to understand where they’re coming from, and to try and reframe them looking for the the more positive sides. Always difficult in this sort of situation, as you can imagine.
Tamsin Caine 17:32
Yeah, absolutely. I think yeah, I think you’re totally right. Susan, you, you mentioned before about people being in very different places, you know, before, before we go into the divorce, and and it’s important to deal with, with be with that kind of imbalance before you start making decisions, isn’t it? What, what ways? Can you would you help an individual to, to move forward and start dealing with these emotional issues.
Susan Leigh 18:03
So take your time, I’ll probably say take your time. You know, don’t make any hasty decisions, you know, allow yourself to inverted commas heal a bit, you know, listen to your friends, you know, allow them to be supportive, but don’t allow them to make decisions for you. So, the great thing with friends is they can have lots of opinions, and you should do this and the bastard, you know, I would do this or that or the other. And, you know, the truth is, at the end of the day, often, they would not do the same thing that they’re suggesting you do if they were in the same situation. So it’s allowing your friends to be supportive, but then saying, Thank you, I’ll think about it, that’s really helpful. And then just go away and on my own and decide what’s right for you. Also, I think also allowing yourself to perhaps, again, not rush into burning all the clothes or selling the house or racing off to go and live in Cornwall or somewhere. You know, the truth is, may be doing a house there may be you know, with other people in a similar situation, or staying with family children for a little while, just so that they can do the washing up and cook your meals and run a bath fee and make sure you’re looking after yourself. So not allowing yourself to be rushed or feeling you ought to because somebody else sorted it all out in a fortnight. But I think taking your time, investing in good self care, you know, going for walks, if you want to be on your own, try and be on your own, you know, allowing, and also I think a biggie in the mix is if you’ve got kids do not overshare don’t overshare your kids don’t need to know, he or she did this or that or the other. You know, their relationship with their parents is very different than your relationship with your ex. So it’s keeping things appropriate when you’re sharing and talking with kids. And also keeping things appropriate when you’re talking with your friends. Because if you infect your friends with all your exes negative points, if there comes a point where you’re trying to not necessarily reconcile, but have a decent relationship with your ex, because you did love each other once, don’t forget, if you’re trying to reconcile that they’re only going to remember all the bad stuff that you’ve encountered in their direction. So I think just, you know, keeping your own counsel to some extent, because you don’t want every time and also you don’t want every time you meet your friends, for them to say, where are you up to what’s happening, you know, have you heard from sometimes having a space where you can go and just have a drink, or a coffee, or maybe have a bit of fun or go to a concert, and not be talking and mulling over all the misery that you’re going through at the moment. So, you know, it’s pacing yourself, giving yourself some respite, self care, and also making sure that you’re you’re doing things that are fun in the mix that just remind you that you don’t have to make hasty decisions. But actually, like being made redundant, sometimes people will look back on this time and say, it pushed me into doing things I would never done otherwise. So again, it’s looking for the positive, you know, would you like to retrain in a career? Would you like to do some volunteer work? You want to start your own business? Do you want to baby move away, and it is about taking time to use this as a platform for some fantastic opportunities, and eventually, know that you’ll look back on this time and say, Actually, it was what I needed, it was a good thing it happened because it’s sorted me out. And caught, it can’t always understand that today. But 2, 3, 4, 5 years down the line, you may well do STEM.
Tamsin Caine 21:35
That’s such a good point, because it is the closing of one chapter, but in a positive way, it’s the opening of a new chapter, isn’t it?
Susan Leigh 21:42
if you look at it like that, definitely it can be it definitely can be,
Tamsin Caine 21:46
yeah, it can, you know, it can be really, really hard to see it that way, when you’re in the midst of it, and when it’s just happening, especially if you’re the one on the receiving end. But, you know, I think majority of people that I speak to have come out of the other side of divorce, and perhaps there are a couple of years on from it, perhaps it’s not an immediate thing, but but certainly have kind of designed themselves in your life.
Susan Leigh 22:09
If you’re seeing your ex moving on with somebody else, you know, you know, you’ve been left for somebody else that can be really difficult. And I’ve certainly had clients who say it would have been easier, I would have preferred it if he or she would have died. Because being made up of widow or widower, you know, yes, you’re grieving, and but you’ve got the body and it’s gone. And you can actually start again, and it’s a clear finish. So even though they don’t wish somebody dead, it is sometimes easier if you go through the grieving process, because grieving processes and say whatever the ending is, whether it is redundancy, or health, or people’s or death, or whatever it is, it’s still a grieving process. And people that have to learn to come to terms with all those different stages, it’s a cyclical thing, that they go through all the different stages and come up the other side for me
Tom Nash 22:55
Well, I always find that with that grief cycle as well. It’s sometimes not necessarily about the acceptance of the relationship. It’s actually the last stage for most people, it’s actually the ability to find their version of a disconnection from that other person from that party as well. That is that that’s kind of the acceptance part of not just about the relationship being ended, but actually having disconnecting from it, because a lot of people can quite naturally find that understanding of acceptance of why the relationship has ended quite early on Indeed, because you say there has been an affair for example, Susan. So whilst they don’t agree with it, but they can see and understand why so they can understand the acceptance phase. But if it’s the emotional side of it, a psychological connection is about the ability to disconnect from from that negative impact to them. And it’s soon I talk to people about this all the time when we’re training tools, coaches, it’s less formulaic as a traditional cycle. It’s more of a wave and we’re flowing between passive and active responses and emotions, and what’s going on that shock or shutdown and etc, all that explosion, that outburst and is that wave petering down. And as Jesus said, there is time being a great healer, but it’s also not just the heat, it’s the opportunity for what we’re talking about self reflection, time to pause, look at yourself. Look at everything in a wider sphere, look at opportunity be challenged. That’s one thing that I love about coaching as well as a lot of my clients, it’s helping them to stop them creating their own obstacles. Like what part are you playing this to this actually triggering and causing other negative experiences that ultimately come back causing effects back to you? So she What are you doing? What can’t you playing in this actually amplifying some of the situation for you?
Tamsin Caine 24:39
Yeah, absolutely. We we often see people and just returning to under Susan’s earlier points about about taking your time. This is not a race, you don’t have to race to get divorced. And we often see people you know, the day after they’ve they’ve been given you know, been left or something He’s moved out right quick, quick race to see a lawyer in and then they get into this we’ll have things progressing much more quickly than then perhaps they want to and, and actually taking time to sort out their mental and emotional strain can be, can be really useful. And know, that’s something
Susan Leigh 25:19
we’re feeling in control, isn’t it? I think sometimes when that’s a situation like that happens, people can feel out of control, they can feel desperate, they can feel dumb to the victim, and I think sometimes racing to steer so listen to things. Well, at least I’m doing something and I’m, I’m gonna sort this out. So I think I think sometimes fighting to get control back and mean that we we don’t necessarily realise that sometimes being in control is sitting and being still. Yeah, you know, it can be that all I’ve got to do something, you know, I’ve got to go and see my financial planner, I’ve got to go and see my lawyer, I’ve got to do this and that the other because then we are, you know, we’re in charge of our own dynamics of what’s actually going on. And sometimes that’s not the best way forward, as you said,
Tom Nash 26:05
Yeah, I’ve got I’ve witnessed within the last six months, particularly on a handful of occasions, it seems to become a bit more frequent recently. Exactly that Susan, but with the opportunity, the ability for an insert divorce Now by doing it yourself online, I’ve had a couple of clients that come to me for a consultation, they were in working with me. And they said, Oh, well, I found out on the Saturday that he or she is leaving for ABC reason. And then on the Monday or even the Sunday night, they’re filling out the online form to hit the button on divorce. And have you spoken to a lawyer and if a coach or a counsellor anybody, but again, what you say Susan, is that instant gratification to get back some control. You’ve done they’re so final, punching the buttons. And actually, those consultations are insane to me, I’ve made an application, but now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have,
Tamsin Caine 26:54
Crikey, I think, you know, going by all means, you know, seeing a lawyer seeing financial planners, gathering information is is a really valuable thing to do. Because it’s a, it’s a huge life changing decision that you make, and when you go through divorce, so gathering information is vitally important. But working on them, the emotional side of things is, is a step that I don’t necessarily think I think people think to talk about and to go to first. And so I know you’ve been doing a lot of work with Tom on on divorce coaching and getting the word out there that, you know, one of the first steps should be to go and see someone for emotional support, whether it’s a therapist, or whether it’s a divorce coach, or whether it’s the counsellor at FAU, do we spread the word more so that this is this is somewhere that is almost an automatic process, like going to see a lawyer and gathering that information.
Sue Palmer-Conn 27:53
Oh, gosh, if we if we knew that
Tamsin Caine 27:58
the unicorn outside.
Sue Palmer-Conn 27:59
That’s right. But you’re right, people do need to think about getting the emotional support. Because until they understand their emotions and where they’re coming from and what they’re doing and why they’re there. They’re not going to be able to make rational decisions, they’re just going to be working from the emotional part of the brain without, uh, not engaging the logical parts. So they’re not going to ask the right questions, they’re not going to be able to see the, the alternative routes through, you know, that they want to get back at whoever’s hurt them. And all they’re doing is hurting themselves and making it much more difficult. So get working with a coach with a counsellor with a therapist of any sort, helping them to understand their emotions. And to re engage, you know, talk about when we’re talking to about the emotions with the with the students, we talk about flipping the lid, so disengaging the upper part of their brain and just working from the lower part of their brain. And what a coach or a therapist will do is help that reengagement of the upper part of their brain, so that they can be logical so that they can listen to what the legal and the financial advisors are giving them, you know, telling them and how to make the best choices. But if they’re still in that emotional fight, flight on all the rest of it, they’re not going to make the right decisions at the right time. And the long term implications of making wrong decisions can be horrific. Yeah, so working with a coach or therapist to help them to understand if not control their emotions. Because even a negative emotion can be used in a positive way. As long as you know, you’re not sort of working from a place of anger, and trying to get back. Anger is there for for a purpose. Let’s channel it in in a positive way.
Tamsin Caine 30:24
Yeah, absolutely. Susan, this is an area that I’ve, I’ve heard you speak on many times, which is why I’m going to come to you for this is, is the self care. You know, it we’ve talked a lot about, about the professionals that the listeners can go and see to help them. But there will be people listening who unfortunately are not in a position where they can manage to go and see a therapist or towards catch up or whatever else. What, what things can can people do individually to look after themselves to move through this process? If they’re not in a position to engage a professional to help them?
Susan Leigh 31:03
Well, I think I think there are things that we can stop and think about. So I think we can start saying, Okay, I’m going to use this as a time to invest in myself. So number one might be starting thinking about your sleep routine, getting yourself a healthy, regular sleep routine, paying a bit of focus to nutrition, so and what you’re drinking, so hang on a minute, am I eating loads of ready meals? Am I eating and drinking too much foods? Am I having junk food just because it’s a quick gratification reward thing? So saying, right, okay, you know, the best revenge is to start looking as the best version of yourself. So you get toned up, you feel good. You know, if you’re a girl you got a better lippy on, if you’re a guy who had shave, or whatever it might be, you’ve got good hygiene, you’re sleeping? Well, you’re feeling good about yourself, that is a fabulous way of getting revenge, because then you have a meeting with your x and that X goes, Wow, what the heck have I done, you know, and you go by baby, it’s far too late. That that can be wonderful. I think also, there’s lots of stuff online. I mean, I know I’ve read, I’ve got 1500 articles on the web, you know about all sorts of different things from, you know, looking after yourself, you know, all the things we’re talking about today, you know, arguing constructively and whatever it might be that you want, you know, communication skills, all sorts of stuff, there’s loads of information out there, we wrote the book on one of our groups, you know, with comes in, and our financial planner, as a kind of, you know, in a mortgage advisor and a couple of lawyers and me doing the self care, we’ve written a book 1299, your divorce handbook is what you do next, that counts. But there’s lots of options out there that different people have contributed to. So you know, again, as I said, before, all linking in with your friends, if all you for all my friends are married or not available, well, we’re going to be available for a couple of hours, perhaps one morning for a coffee, or for a bit of a walk in an evening or borrow somebody’s dog and go out and take the dog for a two hour walk. There are ways of finding new outlets, volunteering, doing things like this, where you’re doing something useful, you’re helping others, whether it’s animals, or people or at a theatre group, or whatever it might be, you’re doing something that other people are going to really value and appreciate. That can make us feel good about ourselves, again, a little part time job, perhaps, where you have to get up at a certain time, people are relying on you to be there, you have to have a bit of a wash, you have to look a bit tidy, you know, and so those things can be the discipline that we perhaps can’t find within ourselves. But the situation that we put ourselves in propels us to have to introduce those things to get us on track. Though, these are all things that can make us start being human and valuable and worthwhile and positive and attractive again, and that’s helping to build that resilience and that that bounce back ability. And I think those things are useful things to do that don’t cost any money. They actually help you earn a bit in the same time and teach you some new skills while you’re at it.
Tamsin Caine 34:04
Absolutely. I quite like the idea of the fake it till you make it you know, put a bit of lippy on put some decent clothes on even if you’re not feeling like it. It can just if you project that out the responses you get back in can really can really make a difference can’t they?
Susan Leigh 34:22
you put out long face that’s what people pick up and that’s what you get back. You put out a smile, the free and actually smiles are contagious. So they’re free and they’re contagious. Want to give a few away.
Sue Palmer-Conn 34:32
Another way of fake it till you make it is to find a perfume or an aftershave that you remember from from a happy place. And smell. It’s the thing that evokes the strongest memories. So if you’ve got, you know perfume from a time when you were really happy, but it on, it’ll take you right back there.
Tamsin Caine 34:57
That’s an excellent piece of advice. So as well, and I’m aware that we are, I don’t know where time goes when we do these recordings, but we are coming towards the end. And I just want to give each of the the chance to, to just have a couple of minutes to just say anything that you’d like to add to what we’ve said so far. So, I;ll, come to you first Tom if I can,
Tom Nash 35:21
Yeah, we kind of recap on what we will be seeing that taking time and all these different things. But as Susan says, a lot of resources out there. So go and look at what’s going to work for you. Because there’s something there’s meditation for some people, it’s journaling. For some people, it’s the people they’re surrounding themselves with, again, as we said, have at least friends and family surround ourselves with. If there are people that are within your network who have had a positive outcome from a relationship breakdown, go and talk to them Go and model positivity. If you’re starting your business, you wouldn’t model someone who keeps failing businesses, you would go and look at someone who has he’s had some successes, you still allow for assumption from some of those failures, that feedback, but you’re still gonna go and ask those people, right? How did you do? What did you do what works we don’t need to be prepared for. So again, it’s finding the things that work for you. I think within also that, that pausing for a moment, and taking your time obviously is a marathon, not a sprint, is thinking about how you’re processing chips yourself as well. So some of the times when I’m working with clients is if they’re getting negative thought patterns as well is what can we actually do to shift them, we can’t stop negative thoughts, no more than we can stop the positive thoughts at the end of the day, their thoughts that come to us constantly was changing, like the weather all the time. So it’s about what we do with them. And those thoughts evoke feelings. And then the feelings it’s thoughtless feeling evokes a behaviour and particularly emotionally triggered behaviour. So if we can look at Exactly, that’s exactly what Susan’s really saying is, we can look at changing somebody’s actual behaviours to feel better and fake it to make it, we can start to shift some of those thoughts to improve some of our feelings. And again, it’s about creating a more positive, repetitive recycle, as opposed to perpetuating the negative one. Exactly what you’re saying, Monica, Susan, I was having a bit of an allergy still around. It’s a bit like if you’ve had a really great night out, but you’ve got a bit of a hangover, the next day, you stay on the sofa all day feeling sorry for yourself. And I’m human, everybody was still going to feel pretty crappy, like by midday and the rest of the afternoon the next day, as you get up and do something and go for a run, sweat it out and work through it. And again, fake it till you make it, we can really for an actual behaviour, we can really start to shift things.
Tamsin Caine 37:32
Great advice. Sue can I come to you next, please, anything to add to what we’ve said so far?
Sue Palmer-Conn 37:39
Yeah, I mean, there’s some people that can’t afford to go to coaching and counselling. There’s lots and lots of support networks, there’s a thing called the divorce club, that meet all over the country. And a lot of our DCA graduates are starting what we’re calling divorce networks, where you can meet up for an hour or two, and just walk and talk with coaches, with lawyers, with financial advisors, with therapists with PT instructors, and just walk and ask questions. And just the the active in a be inactive, in physical can help with the mental as well. And you’re going to make some some friends, you’re going to have free help. So you know, for the, the one that I am doing, we walk for an hour, we go for a cup of tea cup of coffee, and then we walk back to it to the starting place. And that’s free all. All it is is price of a cup of coffee. And it really is helping
Tamsin Caine 38:54
that sounds magic. I quite fancy that myself am I’m five years through the end of my divorce. Susan, anything you’d like to add?
Susan Leigh 39:07
Yeah, I think initially when the actual process actually starts when you’ve been through and you realise you are getting peoples, I think sometimes it is about being gentle with yourself too. And accepting that there are going to be days when you want to stay in bed. And there are going to be days when you’re going to cry or certain things or tune on the radio or you know a certain place somebody’s saying a phrase, these are gonna be motive, they’re gonna trigger you, you may well find that you thought you were doing fine and then all of a sudden you collapse like a tonne of bricks. And I think again, being gentle with yourself and saying hang on a minute, it’s okay. Tomorrow’s another day I’m going to wash my face and start again. And I think that is about also accepting that it is a time that you go through that is the end of all the dreams that you had. Nobody gets married thinking they’re gonna get divorced. So all that wonderful razzmatazz. The life you built the home you built, you know, you’ve just spent an hour arguing about who’s going to keep the book collection or what you’re going to do about your own, you know, old photo album from way back in the day or something, you know, and so all those things that you perhaps don’t really care about, but you’re fighting for now, it is about getting that perspective and saying, okay, things that suddenly get invested with an awful lot of importance, relax, just let it go, you know, stuff that I remember when I remember when my husband died, I remember his his kids ran raided my house and, and took a load of stuff out of my house, and it looked like people have been in and, you know, my neighbours thought I was moving out. And one of my friends said to me, it was fabulous. She said to me, Susan, at least it stopped me needing to get a skip. You know, just throw all these things in. But it just put it into perspective. And sometimes, you know, remembering I don’t often share personal Excuse me, but, you know, sometimes remembering that these are only things. And if you’re arguing over, I have no special set of books or golf clubs or whatever. It might be awesome pictures on the walls, forget it, it doesn’t matter. Let these things go start afresh because again, it’s an opportunity to buy new eventually or to replace things with something different or to not bother at all. And it’s so it is about being gentle and taking time and accepting the ups and the downs and moving forward as a consequence from that.
Tamsin Caine 41:30
Yeah, that’s, that’s brilliant advice. It’s so it’s one of the things that there’s a family lawyer that, that you know, Chris Long bottom, who’s who regularly, you know, when his clients are writing list of all the things they want from the house, it’s like, you know, are you are you going to be bought that about us live CDs in, you know, five years time? Probably not kind of, as you say, just let it go. Fantastic conversation, brilliant advice from all three of us. I knew it would be. Thank you so very much for joining me.
Susan Leigh 42:07
Don’t forget our Facebook page!
Tamsin Caine 42:09
Absolutely. We have a Facebook group, which is called I’m going to forget what it’s called separation divorce and dissolution UK if you do want to join up and get some free information if anybody out there is looking for that. It’s a lovely community where you can get some help and support. Thank you all for joining me. fantastic to see you all. Thank you for listening and we look forward to seeing you again in our next episode if you do want to contact any of our guests. Their details will be in our show notes from today. And we’ll see you again soon.
I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website www.smartdivorce.co.uk. Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called ‘Separation divorce and dissolution UK.’ Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!