If there's ever a time you need a little distraction in your life, it's during the divorce process. That's why we launched our Divorce Care Package series. With each post, we'll show you what things -- books, movies, recipes -- helped others relieve stress in the midst of divorce, in the hopes that a few of their picks will serve you well too. Want to share what got you through your divorce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the wake of her divorce, Laura Miolla realized it was time to take stock of her life: The writer and mom of two let anything that no longer served her (including some friendships) fall to the wayside.
"After 13 years of marriage, I had the perspective that I didn't need to invest in anything around me that I didn't want to," Miolla told HuffPost. "If it didn't serve me, then I let it go. The divorce process can be long and incredibly frustrating, but in the end, it's a circus and you don't need to tie your identity to it."
Below, Miolla, a professional divorce coach based in Boston, tells us more about her journey and shares eight things that helped her get through a two-and-a-half-year divorce process.
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"Brené Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection was so needed during my divorce. It helped me realize that the concept of 'perfect' isn't real and that trying to achieve perfection was killing me. It also taught me that trying to create an illusion of perfection in my marriage and my life was taking me away from who I really was. It was creating a superficial lie that eroded my soul. I had to let go of 'perfect' to accept and love myself: the good, the bad and the ugly. I needed to embrace the uncomfortable (and divorce really isuncomfortable!) to find my authenticity and to embrace my vulnerability. If you don't allow yourself to feel emotions, then you can't feel joy or happiness or fulfillment. And most importantly, loving yourself first allows others to love you more deeply than you could ever imagine."
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"My two favorite foods are oysters and steak tartare. After my divorce, I couldn't afford either and didn't know how to go about making them. So since I was on the dating circuit, all of my first dates were at the same restaurant where I would order oysters and steak tartare. It became a bit comical when the restaurant staff began to recognize me week after week, always with a different date. That is, until I met the love of my life and now we make oysters and steak tartare at home together. And if we don't feel like making it ourselves, we'll go back to that restaurant together where they know both of us now."
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"This quote brought me back to the present moment and helped me stop dwelling on an unforeseen, scary future that hadn't, and likely wouldn't, happen. Our fear tries to keep us stuck but it's not real. If we own our power, we can create anything we want in our lives."
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"Re-connecting with music was really important to me during my divorce. It was one of the things that showed me how disconnected I had become from what I used to love. Being a former punk rock girl, the song 'Answer to Yourself' by The Soft Pack really resonated with me. The first stanza is: 'You gotta answer to yourself /You can't depend on anyone else / You gotta know where you stand, know what's in your hands / Yeah, you gotta answer to yourself.'The song really reminded me that I am NOT my divorce. I am NOT this storm swirling all around me. I am NOT my circumstances. I have knowledge and power as long as I am grounded in myself and not invested in other people's opinions and judgments. I had certain friends and family during my divorce who wanted to judge and analyze and I let them go. I let them go because they were making my marriage more important than me. This song reinforces that I'm talented, unique, capable and that I have everything I need to make the changes I want to make in my life."
The Big Purge
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"It's been a long road getting my bank balance into shape after my long, expensive divorce, so I didn't immediately spend on much. Rather, I got rid of a lot of 'stuff' -- literal baggage from my marriage. It was so freeing to not be held down my boxes and boxes of crap that I was no longer invested in. I no longer had to carry that around, literally or figuratively. When I did finally sell the marital home, I promised my two sons I would take them to Disney. So this year, my first big splurge is taking them to Disney World for a week over school vacation. It's probably the most money I've ever spent on a vacation, but I know the memories and experiences we will have as a family will be cherished by all of us forever."
"I was a 'Chopped' addict during my divorce! While I still watch the Food Network show today, I would categorize it as an obsession back then. My ex-husband never appreciated food, either the taste or experience of it. I felt like I wasn't really able to express myself with food during my marriage since it was never appreciated. And so 'Chopped' became my go-to show to relieve my stress and explore that side of me that had been dormant for so long."
The Vision Board
"I'm a big believer in the power of vision or dream boards in visualizing what we want everyday. And since my divorce, I've created a new vision board for myself every year. It is focused on what I want and who I want to be, so that I can be intentional about my life every single day. Waking up and seeing my vision board gives me immense energy to keep focusing on my dreams and creating the life I want."
The Fresh Outlook
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"I believe that time is the only true currency we have in life, so how (and with who) we choose to spend it is critically important. I focus on the people who matter the most to me in life: my children, my new partner, my closest friends and family. And regardless of what we do together, I strive to be intentional and present to the experience and appreciate everything. I cherish the quiet moments as much as the busy ones: making dinner with my partner, reading to my kids and planning our next adventure."
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