Divorce Blog

Top 10 Tips to Survive COVID-19 in the Middle of a Divorce

By Karen Stewart

COVID-19 & Divorce

If you are dealing with COVID-19 and a divorce at the same time, your plate is likely full. We get it. Stressing over the impact of a divorce is hard enough, and now dealing with the prevention of Coronavirus disease, you are grasping to find ways to manage. Juggling the pressures associated with job losses, financial shortcomings, co-parenting, social distancing, and dealing with divorce lawyers can take its toll on even the most stable person. There are, however, things you can do to make this time a bit easier. Here is a list of the Top 10 Tips to help you and your family survive COVID-19 when you are also in the middle of a divorce.

Tip #1

Focus on your health, and mental wellbeing

Healthy Looking SaladStaying healthy has to be your number one priority. For those facing a divorce, there is an enormous amount of stress already. Many are already dealing with high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, depression, and fatigue. You have to put your health first because, without your health, you will not have the energy to do the things you need to do, whether it is to continue to work or care for your children. The silver lining in all of this is that you will now have the time to prepare healthy meals, exercise, and perhaps even meditate.

Tip #2

Agree to topics off limits during isolation

One of the main reasons people get divorced is the lack of healthy boundaries. And, if you have not had healthy boundaries during your marriage, it is tough to establish them in your divorce. Rather than getting caught off guard in a conversation that is suitable for another time or with the help of your mediator, decide now what is off-limits and what are neutral topics that will not cause an argument. Don’t just agree verbally, commit your off-limit items to paper, make a copy for each of you, and if someone steps into the topic area, you can remind them what you both put in writing. Telling them verbally that this topic is off-limits might start a fight.

Tip #3

Live-stream your favorite workout

Livestream WorkoutSeveral popular gyms and workout studios are offering live-streaming classes. Pull back the couch, move the coffee table, and work up a sweat. If you do not have weights at home, then two bottles of wine function quite well as substitutes. Just don’t drop them. You will feel so much better, mentally, and physically.

Tip #4

Come up with an interim parenting plan

If you are going through a separation and co-parenting with kids, come up with a short term plan. Keeping the kids safe is your number one priority. Preventing them from passing the virus over to others is also a concern. If you are going to continue moving kids back and forth between homes, then consider doing it less often, perhaps once per week. Ensure that everything is clean to avoid sending the virus between dwellings.

Tip #5

Keep Grandparents away for the time being

Families isolated in one home; it is easier to control who comes in and out of the house. Grandparents may be able to go from their home to yours without too much risk; however, if you add another home in the mix, it could put them in a very vulnerable position. Facetime, Skype, Zoom are just a few ways to keep grandparents, even ones that live close, involved.

Tip #6

Kids are listening to your calls – be careful and be kind

Father on PhoneMany are going through isolation together in one home so we are over-hearing other family members’ conversations. While the COVID-19 has put many things on hold, your issues concerning your divorce are likely continuing. To protect the emotional wellbeing of your children, take any heated or legal conversations to the basement.

Tip #7

Think long term

COVID-19 virus is disruptive to everyone, and no one’s life is untouched. Stress can bring the worst out in us. We might find ourselves being quick-tempered or reacting to things that do not usually bother us. “Bite your tongue.” Follow these words of wisdom “if you cannot say something nice, then do not say anything at all.” Harmful and angry words towards your ex may come back to haunt you.

Tip #8

Learn a new skill or hobby

Woman Sewing Machine ScissorsToo much time on your hands might lead to conversations that are better suited to a time when you are not in such close quarters, especially if you are separated but still living together. If you put your hands to work by taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill, you might avoid an unnecessary argument. Keep your hands busy, so your mouth can be less active. Perhaps there is a project in the garage that you can do or search you-tube to learn a skill that you just have not had the time to learn before. See what materials you have lying around the house and how you might create something interesting from them.

Tip #9

Learn how to become a minimalist

There is nothing like being in isolation to remind you how overly cluttered your cupboards, and storage rooms are. Why not take advantage of this time and declutter as you have never done before. This time, however, think minimalist. You will need to do this at some point as you and your ex move apart, so start now. Several great you-tubers demonstrate how much mental space we can free up by merely getting rid of stuff and deciding to buy less in the future. Keep your life less cluttered mentally and physically, and by doing this, you can also help the environment.

Tip #10

Create a Vision Board

2020 Vision BoardYou are getting divorced because you believe your future will be better. Why not take this time to create a vision board of your life after divorce. Find old magazines or print some pictures off the web and make a collage of what you want. If you wish to manifest your future, then start living today like you are already in it. For example, if you use language and act like you are physically fit vs people who say they are in the process of trying to get fit, you are more likely to achieve your desired outcome. So, apply this principle to your divorce and create your picture of life after divorce.


Related Article:
Seven Guidelines for Parents who are Divorced/Separated and Sharing Parenting Time during the Covid-19 Pandemic by AFCC Ontario.