Managing a divorce whilst working can be incredibly difficult, but there are things you can do to make it a little easier.
Separating from your partner is an extremely challenging time for anyone. Whether you were expecting it or not, going through a divorce is a devastating process that will impact every aspect of your life. Including your job.
In this blog, we share our top tips for managing a divorce whilst working.
Talk To Your Employer
The process of divorce or separation can cause feelings of loss, anger, isolation and devastation. Walking away from a marriage or long-term relationship will often trigger a challenging grieving process.
Maintaining a high level of productivity and professionalism during this process can be almost impossible. It is likely that your work performance will suffer slightly as you go through the divorce process.
So, it will be beneficial to speak to your employer. Ask your manager or boss for a private chat and explain that you are currently going through a divorce. It is up to you how much you choose to share.
Once your employer is aware of your situation, they will likely ask what they can do to help. Perhaps taking a few days off, having flexible working hours, or shedding some of your heavy workloads will help you stay on top at work.
Avoid Overworking As A Distraction
Some people choose to throw themselves into their jobs as a way to distract themselves from what is going on at home. Using your job as a distraction is not a bad idea.
But overworking and prioritising your job above your own wellbeing will lead to further problems. You will cause excess stress that may eventually lead to burnout.
Going through a divorce often means enduring lengthy phone calls and meetings with your ex-partner, lawyers, bank managers, mortgage advisors and others that may be involved in the process.
However, taking these phone calls during work hours will lead to unnecessary distractions at work. They will cause stress in the workplace and affect your work performance.
Aim to set boundaries to avoid this from happening. Provide times in which you are available to discuss your divorce and avoid answering the telephone or opening emails outside of these set times.
Setting boundaries will not only help you focus at work, but it will also be beneficial for your mental wellbeing.
Take Time Off
After the initial decision has been made to get a divorce, it may be beneficial to take a few days off work to come to terms with what is happening. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to focus at work.
The divorce process is often lengthy and can take months or even years. There may be times during the process where you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your annual leave days. If you have spoken to your employer, they will understand why you need to take a few days here and there.
Create A Support System With Those Your Trust
Unless you want your divorce becoming gossip within the workplace, it’s best to keep it between those you trust. Creating a support system, both in and out of work will help you get through the divorce process.
Reach out to family members or friends when you need to talk. But remember to ask how they are doing and keep the relationship balanced. If you are really struggling and don’t feel like you can talk to those closest to you, perhaps reach out to a divorce support group.
Set Positive Goals Or Future Plans
It’s always great to have something to look forward to. Especially when you’re going through a challenging time. So, instead of dwelling on when you will be out the other side of the dreaded divorce, focus on something positive.
Perhaps plan a solo trip or a holiday with your children, or plan to visit friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Alternatively, you could take up a new hobby that will give yourself something positive. Or you may want to set goals within your professional life – such as securing a promotion.
Prioritise Your Mental Health
Above all, prioritising your mental health is crucial. Poor mental health affects 1 in 4 people. And studies show that divorce can cause mental health problems to surface.
The stress and trauma that comes with divorce can lead to anxiety and depression. Many people find that their own wellbeing doesn’t top their list of priorities during a divorce. Some find themselves taking up unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking excessively. And others don’t eat well and struggle to sleep.
To look after your mental health and wellbeing, aim to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life. Take up exercises such as yoga or walking. Or join a gym. Take sufficient breaks during your working day and spend them outdoors. Prep your meals for the week to avoid eating unhealthy, over-processed foods.
Looking after your mental health will help you manage your divorce whilst working.
Get In Touch
Mindful Partners is a specialist recruitment agency. We help people who have been out of work with poor mental health get back into the workplace. If your mental health is impacting your job, feel free to get in touch.
We also help the employer create a mentally healthy workplace. You can find more tips and advice in our blog.