How to Thrive at Work during and after Divorce
When you're going through a divorce, the last thing you want is to worry about how it will affect your work life. Unfortunately, though, a lot of people find their job performance suffers during this time. If you're one of those people, take heed of our suggestions for thriving at work – even during a divorce.
How to thrive at work despite your divorce
Organize your space
Look around your workplace. How can you set the stage for your success? Whether you work in an office or at home, take time to clean and organize your workspace. Make it fun; maybe put on some inspirational tunes while you clean. Busy hands can help take your mind off your problems for a while, and you’ll like the result: a clean, organized workspace.
Schedule focus blocks
If your job requires periods of intense concentration, schedule focus blocks during the day. You might want to put them on your calendar or your door so co-workers or supervisors understand not to bother you during these times. During focus blocks, eliminate distractions as much as possible. This may include turning off your phone and avoiding looking at personal emails.
Some people find their focus blocks to be extra sweet because not only do they get a lot of work done, but they’re able to get “out of their head” for a while and accomplish something.
Be honest with your employer if you think it might help
Sharing information about your personal situation may help. If you tell your boss your divorce news, they might give you some leniency in both your work schedule and their (short-term) expectations of you. Further, it’ll show your boss you’re invested enough in the job to make yourself vulnerable by sharing personal information – and they’ll see that you are capable of handling a difficult situation by prioritizing both your job and your personal life.
Note, however, that it may not be wise to share your divorce information in some employment settings. Only you can determine this. But if you’re able to disclose something about your situation to your boss or co-workers – even the simple fact that you’re going through a tough personal time – you may be pleasantly surprised by the support you receive from your work family.
A surprising number of people can empathize with what you're going through. After all, about 40% of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Your boss and co-workers may be able to offer you support in ways you did not expect.
In some work settings, there’s an expectation that you’ll sacrifice personal time – even, say, your lunchtime – for the sake of the job. For a person going through a huge life transition like divorce, this isn’t healthy. You need to nurture yourself by taking time for yourself.
When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Go for a walk, meditate, take a nap, or just relax at your desk. When your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it’s hard to focus and get things done. But if you can redirect your body back to a calmer state, you’re more likely to be productive – and you’ll feel better physically.
Be gentle with yourself. Divorce is tough. You may not feel like your old self at work (or anywhere) right now. Give yourself time to heal.
Stick to tried and true advice during times of stress
If you had a parent who enforced eating your vegetables and going to bed at a decent hour, we’re here to remind you that they were right. Adequate sleep and nutrition are imperative right now. Your body may be run down by the stress of the divorce. Don’t contribute to the problem by pulling all-nighters or turning to candy bars at mealtimes. Treat your body right – and consider visiting your physician for a tune-up.
Seek support that will help your work/life balance
To be your best at work, seek support in your personal life. Friends and family can be helpful, but they’re not your only resources.
- Consider therapy. It’s a great way to get support during a divorce. A therapist can help you process your feelings and provide guidance through this difficult time.
- Look for a support group. Support groups are available both in-person and online. In a support group, you can connect with others in similar situations. The ability to share your experiences and learn from other people is priceless.
- Enlist a life or divorce coach. This is a professional who specializes in cheering you on. More specifically, a life coach can help you focus on your goals and maintain work productivity during a divorce. Divorce coaches are a specific type of life coach who can provide emotional support and guidance through this difficult time.
Do something you enjoy
Do something you enjoy, and do it every day. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or time-consuming. Ideas include reading a book, taking a walk, going for a jog, or watching a few episodes of your favorite show. You may wonder how you could possibly take time for fun right now when, on top of everything else, you’ve got a job to tend to … but nurturing your whole self can actually make you more effective on the job.
Learn about the divorce process
The unknown is often much scarier than reality. If you’re preoccupied with fears about what will happen in divorce, it’ll be much harder to focus on your job. So, educate yourself about what divorce entails and to what expect in the coming months. Here are some of our favorite Hello Divorce resources for people at the beginning of the divorce process:
In addition to educating people about the divorce process, one of our primary goals is to make divorce accessible and less stressful. That’s why Hello Divorce exists, and that’s why we created a menu of flat-rate online divorce plans and flat-rate divorce services which you can easily access on our website.
Many people feel like they have to choose between their job and their divorce. This is not the case. A person going through a divorce can thrive at work by using knowledge as power. We’re here to help. To gain more knowledge about the divorce process and how Hello Divorce can ease your burden, visit our calendar here to schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call with one of our friendly account coordinators.