How to cope with a divorce whilst working in a high pressure job

By Wealth Management Adviser, Mary Waring –

Mental HealthIn an ideal world we would all be able to segment our brain, so that thoughts, ideas, emotions etc. related to our personal life didn’t come to work with us.

And similarly, in this ideal world, all thoughts, ideas and emotions around work stayed in the workplace and didn’t come home with us.

But we are human beings rather than automatons, and we can’t separate our brain into a work brain and private brain, no matter how attractive that may sometimes feel. So in the same way that if you have a stressful day at work you are likely to still carry those emotions after you’ve left the office, it means that having difficulties in your personal life and the emotions you carry around that, will come into work with you. It’s inevitable. And none more so than if you’re going through divorce or separation, which is highly stressful and highly emotionally charged.

But there are some steps you can take to make things easier.

Advise your boss and/or co-workers

You may want to keep your private life private but do consider whether it would be helpful to advise your colleagues of your situation. You don’t need to say very much, but just inform them of the facts: you are going through a divorce, you are very upset at the situation, and of course you will aim to ensure, as much as possible, it doesn’t impact on your work.

This will hopefully prompt others to be tactful with their discussions in the office and also give you some leeway if your work, or managerial style seems a bit “off”.

Have your support team ready

Think about who you need to be available to you to give you the support you need. This may be a team of professionals: divorce coach, divorce lawyer, financial expert, therapist etc. Or it may be friends who will be available to you at a moments notice when you need a phone call, you need to just talk, or you need to go out and party and forget your troubles.

Sit down and work out the support you need, and who you know who can provide that.

Acknowledge your emotions

You obviously don’t want to be constantly bursting into tears in the office or taking your anger out on your colleagues. But although you need to keep your emotions around your divorce in check in the workplace, do express your feelings when you are in a safe place and you can feel into your feelings without risk of being disturbed. This may involve punching a pillow to let go of anger, weeping noisily through a sad film to let go of your sadness and grief etc

Really feel your emotions and acknowledge them, rather than trying to pretend you are OK. It’s perfectly natural to feel these uncomfortable emotions. The more you try to stuff them down and ignore them, the longer they will hang around.

Aim to feel them, connect with them and wait for them to pass. Which they will in time.

Be kind to yourself

Acknowledge that you are going through a difficult time, be kind to yourself and ensure you rest as much as you can. If you have a very stressful job and work long hours, do try to have some downtime at the weekend to just rest and replenish. It probably isn’t the best time to take on new projects, (if you can control the timing), to look for a new job, or to seek out promotion. A huge chunk of your energy will be taken up dealing with the issues surrounding divorce. Try not to heap too much other pressures on yourself.

Mary WaringAbout the author

Mary Waring is an independent wealth management adviser. Having spent her entire career in finance, in roles such as Independent Financial Advisor and Finance Director, Mary Waring provides support and guidance on wealth management for women going through divorce, her priority is helping ladies manage their future in line with their finances, providing clarity on the ability to maintain or improve lifestyle accordingly. She is the only UK adviser to be a chartered accountant, a chartered financial planner, experienced life coach and receiver of specialist accreditation from the solicitor’s body, Resolution. Drawing on a vast network of specialists, Mary can help women to find the very best professionals to help individuals achieve their goals: from tax planners and accountants to investment managers.

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