Tips for making your divorce more joyful (or at least less painful!)

Karen BigmanBlog, Coaching, Divorce Process, Divorce Tips

Marie Kondo Your Divorce!

I just finished reading Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Her revolutionary method – The KonMari Method – in a nutshell is to only keep things that bring you joy in your life and discard everything else (and she means everything else!). Imagine applying this methodology to your divorce?

Wouldn’t it be incredible to declutter your brain from all the noise and thoughts that are swimming around you as you go through the divorce process? What about all those papers and ‘stuff’ that overwhelms you and brings back sad memories? What if you could do away with the negative pieces and hold on to the happy ones?

Whether you’re going through a difficult divorce or you’re the other side, clearing your mind can only bring your to a better place. Although I don’t necessarily think you can do this all at once, here are some thoughts on how you can declutter your mind using the KonMari framework:

  1. Finish discarding first. Work on getting clear on what’s holding you back first. Make a written list, keep a journal, just putting it on paper will help get clarity:
    • What are the thoughts that are bring you down?
    • Who are the people that rarely bring you joy?
    • What activities do you do out of obligation rather than for enjoyment?
  2. Tidy up by category
    • Negative thoughts: Can you reframe them in writing?
      • For example
        • Thought: Divorce sucks! I never wanted this, my spouse is a jerk, my life is over!
        • Reframe: Divorce is an opportunity to change my life. I see that my spouse is not the person I thought he/she was and I’m grateful that we no longer are together. I will find someone who is right for me in the future
    • People who bring you down: Can you limit your time with them? The next time your sister wants to rail on your ex with you, how about changing the subject? Take the moment to talk about something that makes you both laugh instead.
    • Activities you do out of obligation: If you have to complete your Statement of Net Worth or create a budget, can you reward yourself once it’s completed? What about putting on some dance music and taking a dance break every time you complete a section? Intersperse the negative obligation with periods of joyful release.
  3. Storing your things to make your life shine
    • Now act you have some tips on how to eliminate the negativity, the key is to organize and choose your thoughts wisely. Create categories of positive actions an messages to redirect your bad thoughts. Post some inspirational messages in your office and around your home. Put on some happy music and dance around as you clean up. Refer to your reframed messages to help jolt yourself into positive action.

Decluttering is a big undertaking, especially in divorce. With just a few tools however, you will find yourself on the way to a more joyful life!