Going through a divorce awakens a plethora of conflicting emotions that can leave you drained and confused. Friends and family members might ask how they can help, but you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t even know where to start. Read through the following list for inspiration.
Take the Children
Ask a trusted friend to watch your children for the afternoon or even overnight, so that you can have time to process all of the changes that you are experiencing. Maybe your friend can take them to a movie or work on a creative project with them.
Help with Moving
Let’s face it: moving is exhausting under the best of circumstances. When you are going through a divorce, and you absolutely have to move, the pressure and frustration seem multiplied. Get all hands on deck. Even if someone can only help out for an hour or two, his or her encouraging presence and physical efforts will likely make the job easier.
Share a Meal or Even Just Coffee Together
Relax over brunch or even just a cup of coffee as you chat about inconsequential matters or have a deep, heart-to-heart conversation.
Help with Household Chores
Solicit assistance with diverse tasks, such as handyman jobs, mowing the lawn, changing the smoke detector batteries, climbing a ladder to switch out lightbulbs, washing dishes and vacuuming. Don’t be afraid to ask for practical help from your friends.
Help with Rides and Transportation
From school to playdates to sporting or music events, sometimes parents need to be in two places at once. Ask a friend to chauffeur the kids to reduce your stress.
Give a Hug
Sometimes physical touch is just the thing you need. Per the New York Times, “neuroscientists have learned that when humans get emotionally upset, our bodies react to manage the increased energy. These physical reactions bring discomfort at best and at worst are unbearable. What can we do to obtain immediate help when we are distressed so that we don’t have to resort to superficial balms like drugs or psychological mechanisms like repression? What kind of relief is affordable, efficient, effective and nontoxic? The answer is touch. Hugs and other forms of nonsexual physical soothing, like hand-holding and head stroking, intervene at the physical level to help the brain and the body calm down from overwhelming states of anxiety, panic and shame.”
Lend a Listening Ear
You might need someone to just listen. Don’t worry if you cry, even if you’re a man. Divorce is emotionally draining, and you need a soft place to fall.