The dreaded D-word does not have to be devastating. Divorce can happen in a positive way. Charmed Divorce takes you through all aspects of your journey after marriage—from the initial separation to adventures in dating. Complete with advice on in-laws, kids, and separation, Charmed Divorce has entertaining and enlightening chapters on everything from downsizing your household to reevaluating your career. Rediscover yourself the charmed way with easy activities to complete at the end of each chapter, along with a list of 101 things to do when getting divorced. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to have a “Just Divorced!” party to celebrate the new you!
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BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT
What do body, mind, and spirit have to do with divorce? Everything! Divorce is one of the hardest things you will ever go through in your life. It will beat you down, make you feel insecure, financially devastate you, and, for better or for worse, change your life in ways you cannot imagine. Now is a time of tearing down and building up. You will be stretched to your limits. You will find out who your friends really are and who is eager to kick you when you are down. If you think that everyone loves you and no one would possibly think anything bad about you, think again. By divorcing, you have guaranteed that at least one person in the world has it out for you.
Divorce is a time when you will experience growth. Growth is all a part of the Charmed Divorce. Remember when you were a teenager? It was a crazy time for growth. You may think since you are an adult that you are all done with growth. Wrong. Now that your marriage is over, you will experience growth in a whole new way, the Charmed Way. As it was when you were a teenager, growing can be exciting and painful at the same time.
Keep laughing. Hang on. The worst may be here, behind you, or yet to come. You are not alone. We are here for you!
Your Amazing Body
Self Care ~ Exercise ~ Sleep ~ Mindful Breathing
We start with the body because taking care of your physical self is easier to start with. How your body feels affects the way your mind operates and positive body conditioning is good for the soul. Working on yourself from the outside in is a way to feel good inside and out.
Engage in Self Care
Feel like taking a nap on a Saturday afternoon? Want to take off for the weekend? Spontaneous vacations might not have been as easy to do when you were married. It required coordinating your calendar with another person. Now that you are on your own do what makes you feel good.
It is easy to get depressed after finishing a relationship. You might have let yourself go a bit. You are an adult – if you don't take care of yourself, no one else will. It is time to put "you" first. Self-care means doing what makes you feel good, even if you are feeling lousy.
We knew a man who went through a severe break-up. As the marriage fell apart, he held himself together by putting together a solid self-care regimen. This involved going to the gym four times a week, eating well, drinking plenty of water, and 30-minutes of meditation each night. Even though his marriage was ending, he continued to engage in self-care every day. After three months, the divorce was still going on, but he was better able to handle the stress, and he felt good that he could keep himself together.
Dedicate an hour a day to self-care. Concentrate first on your body. You don't have to spend money. Take that time to exercise, or do your nails, or give yourself a facial. Then use another day to journal, read, or take a walk. Catch up with old friends and stay away from divorce talk when you do. Talk about your hobbies or talk about your new life instead.
Do that mani-pedi and enjoy every moment of it! If you want to pamper your body inexpensively, you can use online coupons or find a salon that does it for less. Don't skip out on the things you love, just find a way to have them in a way you can afford. If these small moments in life make you feel good, you will be able to handle your divorce better, because you feel better about yourself.
Note from Leah ...
It takes a while to decompress from your old life. I still have moments where I realize "Oh, I don't have to coordinate with another person to go for a walk on the beach or get my nails done." Coordinating schedules was a common occurrence while in a relationship and co-parenting. Now I have free time. Make an effort to do such things. It's liberating to treat yourself well.
Note from Robin ...
I went through a mid-life crisis early. This crisis happened while I was married and nowhere near divorce. One thing my dad said was, "You need to do something that makes you feel good, even if it means you have to put it on a credit card to do it. You have to do something for yourself."
Going through this experience was a valuable lesson for me. I had denied myself small pleasures to the point that life had no flavor. I felt like I was going through the motions of my day. There was no joy and no reward for my hard work. I was breaking.
I began to take time for myself even though the demands on me were great. I bought myself a few new things even though I felt I couldn't afford them. Taking care of myself released the pressure I felt and gave me a little bit of happiness. That little bit made me feel like life was worth living.
Activity: Make a list of the top things you want to do for yourself this week. Start marking them off as you treat yourself to as many as you can.
Now is the perfect time to get into an exercise routine. You do not have to join a gym, and you do not have to get a personal trainer. An exercise routine can be as cheap as you want, or as expensive. The key is to begin and to make it a regular part of your life. Once those endorphins start running, you will find that dealing with your divorce is easier. You will also have the added benefit of looking really hot in case you run into your ex or the new person of your dreams.
Exercise can keep you positive. As your life is realigning itself, you can make do with a "little in the morning, little at night." Take ten minutes in the morning for a few simple yoga exercises. Too busy? Really? Exercising by talking on the phone with friends while you walk the neighborhood. Take another ten minutes at night to do a few simple exercises.
The hardest part of doing anything long-term is to be consistent. Rather than exercising for a certain amount of time every week, just try to get to it every day. It is better to build up a good habit rather than trying to get it all done at once. You will find that the amount of time you exercise each day will naturally extend over time.
Find an exercise that interests you. Go to Yoga, Pilates, or whatever it takes. There are so many programs out there that cater to the different interests of people. Maybe you are into cross-fit or boxing. Find your niche. See what resonates with you and think outside of the box. For example, exercising does not always have to involve a class. There are active social clubs that center around physical activities. You can join these for kickball, flag football, golf, and even bowling. These clubs are co-ed and also give you an opportunity to meet new people.
If you are in a financial pinch, there is always the road. Give it a pounding, even if that pounding is a gentle 30-minute walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do lunges on the way to other rooms in your house. Exercise can be free. A workout can be anywhere! Inside, outside, or while you are watching TV. You can find a ton of resources on the internet. Get to it!
Find what works for you. This is the Charmed Way to take care of yourself. Exercising can heal your mind and soul, and you feel great as a result! Did we mention you will end up with a fabulous looking body? What are you waiting for?
Note from Leah ...
Exercise is one of my happy places. It helps keep my mind in check. It is essential to find what works for you to stick with it. I have gone through many exercise fads that I love i.e. kickboxing, Barre, and Pilates. Walking is my other favorite. I am fortunate to live by the beach, so I make it a habit, walking near it often. It's also calming for me to walk near the ocean.
Walking is also a great way to combine exercise and spend time with a friend. Get a fitness tracker and compete with a friend each week. It makes it fun, and the competition gets you walking and running. It is time to make your health a priority so find what resonates with you and involve your friends. Find your calming place.
My best friend who never liked working out in big gyms (or even small ones for that matter), recently found a new love for skateboarding while teaching her kids. She said it's the best workout yet, and she loves it. It is perfect for her because she couldn't stick with the other fitness routines long-term.
There are many ways to integrate exercise into your life without a corporate gym membership. Park your car in the farthest parking spot from the store. Walk to the furthest bathroom at work. Do lunges while watching your show or during commercials. Don't allow yourself to watch your show unless you are on the stationary bike or doing some form of exercise. You get the idea. There are all types of ways to sneak it into your daily routine. No excuses.
Note from Robin ...
There was a time during my divorce where I had to let exercise go. It's ok. Don't bash yourself if there's a period when this is just impossible. But keep this task in your mind.
After about a year, it was time for me to go back to exercising regularly. I realized how much I missed the positive experience of exercise and the side effect of a great body. Restarting my exercise routine created other self-care habits that I had ignored. I started drinking more water, cutting down on sugar, and watching my diet. All I did was dedicate ten minutes at the gym. That was all it took. After a while, I was back to ballet and Pilates, dropped five pounds, and had glorious skin from all the water and stimulation.
Activity: List the five top exercises you have heard about that sparked your interest. Look for deals in your area and sign up. Find your favorite. Be excited to try something new. Did someone say pole dancing?
Stress will happen. Emergencies will occur. Children will cry. The ex will lie. But, through all the chaos and uncertainty, sleep will help. Sleep will center you, reenergize you, and clear your head. In an ideal world, we would have all of the benefits of sleep without having to put in the time. However, sacrificing sleep to get other things done is counter-productive. If you deny yourself sleep, you will find yourself less productive, and it is during this time in your life that there will be more demands on you than ever. Although the temptation to cut back on sleep will be there, remember that it simply is not worth it.
A woman we met told us that the secret to getting through her divorce was sleep. Whenever she felt overwhelmed, she took a nap or went to bed early that night. She said that her mind would work on the problem for her while she was sleeping and the next morning, she would always have a better perspective on what was bothering her.
Most people know that sleep is good for the body. But it can also be an escape. If you are still in the house with your ex, going to sleep is a good way to avoid him or her. It is also good to "sleep on" important decisions. Even after you are divorced, there will be additional stress if you have children. It is the rule, not the exception, that custody battles and child support tussles will continue until your youngest child reaches adulthood. When you feel your blood boil from the nasty email you just received from your ex, take the evening to sleep on it.
If you are recently separated, but not divorced yet, the conflict will be part of your foreseeable future, especially if you are still in the same house with your ex. If you are in the midst of your divorce, you will need energy for court, children, work, and the amazing sex you are going to have. It's not a time to be sleep deprived. It's also a time in your life where the decisions you make will have a long-lasting effect on you and your children. Having a good nights sleep and being well rested will center you so that you can make better decisions.
Note from Leah ...
A bedtime routine is necessary for good sleep. I have always been aware of this and have always loved my sleep and bedtime. Bedtime has been my favorite time of day for many years, for several reasons. I view it as my 'me' time. It is the time of day that I look forward to reading, watching a favorite television show, or cuddling. It's the time of day to wind down and recharge.
However, it is difficult to stay on schedule when you are a newly single parent, or even a parent for that matter. It's another reason a good night's sleep is crucial. I have a set bedtime every night I try to stick with it. I realize how quickly my body reacts when I do not. It is important to find the amount of sleep your body needs. Every person is different. Oh, and weekends don't count!
Note from Robin ...
While getting divorced, there was a period where I was exhausted but couldn't sleep because of the stress. I would fall asleep at 10 PM then wake up several times during the night. My day was like a nightmare, and I was the walking dead, barely able to stand. I found that the lack of sleep was affecting my memory. I could not remember simple passwords to sites I visit every day. It was all I could do to shower, dress, and eat.
It took a while, but I eventually was able to get into a better sleep routine. I found sleep to be important in getting through my divorce. So many aspects of my life improved as a result. My mind was clear and I was able to focus on tasks so much better. I was less sensitive to criticism and was able to look at situations more logically.
Activity: Create a bedtime routine or download an app to help you get enough sleep. Sleep is a lot cheaper than a fancy eye cream.
Practice Mindful Breathing
How many times do we go through our day without taking the time to breathe? How many times do we forget to breathe when things get stressful? We hold our breath like we are stubborn children who do not get our way. We hold our breath like a person frozen in fear, afraid of harm. We hold our breath like we are sinking, drowning, and about to die.
This is why we need to breathe. It is essential during the stressful moments of divorce. We discuss meditation throughout this book. Mindful breathing is something to do throughout the entire day, not just during meditation. While meditation needs to take place in the right environment with no interruptions, breathing is an act, taking place all the time.
Some people use the phrase "one day at a time." Anyone going through the insanity of a divorce can tell you that a day can be too long. Even an hour can be too long. So shorten the time. How about trying "five minutes at a time"? During that five minutes, breathe. Exhale the negative and inhale the positive. If this means pulling over on the side of the freeway after a morning of divorce court, do it. If this means getting off the phone with your ex to recollect yourself, do it. Breathe.
Breathe in, breathe out. Again. Release.
You will become more conscious of your breathing habits when you practice mindful breathing. When those stressful moments hit you in the middle of the day, you can take the time to breathe in, breathe out, and release. If you only have to practice it once a day, you may be in a good place already. However, most people need to practice mindful breathing many times throughout their day. Take the time. Put a reminder on your phone to practice. Mindful breathing will soon become an automatic response to stress, and it will allow you to go through your divorce in a more positive way.
Note from Leah ...
I have, time and again, defaulted to taking a deep breath to clear my head and tell myself "this too shall pass," and I promise, it will. Learn to breathe through the tough moments. This technique helps when you feel that you are about to break down in tears due to the overwhelming feeling of stress, or when you are getting ready to deal with a court hearing relating to your divorce. Whatever the stress may be, breathing will help. Just breathe through the moments.
Note from Robin ...
This section is my favorite part of this book. Every time I read it, I am reminded to practice mindful breathing. Even as I read, I remember how important this is. I find myself breathing in-out, in-out.
There have been times where my breathing came in hysterical sobs. Sometimes I am truly centered and can breathe out my tension. Truth be told, I hate breathing. I just want to scream sometimes and let it all out. Then, I realize, "I'm breathing with volume!" Ha! Keep breathing!
Activity: Breathe with intent. Inhale deeply for four seconds. Hold your breath for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds. This really works for calming yourself down. Practice it. Remember 4-4-4.
Your Incredible Mind
Stay Positive ~ Be Present ~ Therapy ~ Forgive and Let Go
Your mind is a powerful thing. Your mind will shape your perceptions, decide how you will react (or not react), and help you find peace. By working on your incredible mind, you will be able to navigate through your divorce with clarity. You will do this by being positive, present, and by exercising forgiveness and letting go. Therapy can also be helpful to understand how your mind works and how to process the feelings from your divorce. All will help you strengthen your incredible mind.
Excerpted from "Charmed Divorce"
Copyright © 2017 Leah Scott & Robin Sassi.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter One BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT, 1,
Chapter Two FAMILY MATTERS, 40,
Chapter Three THE REMODEL, 67,
Chapter Four MOVING FORWARD, 115,
Chapter Five THE LEAP FORWARD, 154,
101 Things To Do, 179,
Activities Summary, 183,