Divorced? Newly Single? Widowed?


by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2011

If you’re divorced, newly single or grieving the loss of your mate, you can make your job a calm fortress that shields you from stress and negativity. Happiness at work will feed your need for peace and harmony when your personal life is painful and chaotic. Achieving joy on the job is easier than you may think. Single parents and people grieving a recent death also find it especially soothing to enjoy happiness at work during their transition.

When you’re faced with divorce, loss of your mate or you’re grieving a death, precious transition tools will ease your discomfort and empower you to meet many new challenges. Even if you saw the transition coming, you may be playing an uncomfortable role as a newly-single person, widow, or single parent. Perhaps finances are tight and you also need to sell the home you had envisioned living in for the rest of your life.

If you’re newly single or widowed, you may also be financially stressed, especially if your transition was a nasty surprise. It’s time to make your job a soothing fortress that shields you from negativity. You can create a situation where your job feeds part of your hunger for peace and stability when your personal life is in turmoil.

Achieving happiness at work is easier than you may think. You can surround yourself with the support you need. It doesn’t matter if you’re working your dream job or a minimum-wage position you can’t wait to vacate. You can use even the most undesirable job to create a sense of serenity during a major life change.

I’m not talking about becoming a workaholic to avoid confronting unresolved personal issues. I’m talking about empowering yourself. You can use your job as a source of new self esteem and balance when life feels out of control and a voice inside of you screeches, “Your life’s a mess!” or “You’re a failure.”

You’ll develop more passion for your work, smile more, and spontaneously do a better job. You’ll probably be surprised about the rich rewards you’ll reap. Many of my clients originally used this strategy to survive a topsy-turvy world. They were amazed when a big boost of confidence landed them promotions and raises that helped them become more successful singles.

You see, when you’re happy at work, your income increases. Many bosses trip over their own feet as they scramble to support employees who whistle while they work.

Joy on the job creates more lifestyle choices. Because you’re less stressed, relationships are more rewarding. Single parenting is also easier when you enjoy your job so this is a very win-win approach. You can create harmony at work and a ripple effect that makes you feel immune to personal stress. Facing the world as a single, instead of being in the comfort zone of going out with a partner, becomes much easier.


Here are some techniques that have worked for my clients.

  • Identify soothing routines at work. For example, straighten your desk just the way you like it or chat with someone you trust during a break. If you’re a new single parent, you’ll probably enjoy having adult conversations at work.
  • Enjoy the stability that exists because you can count on certain people showing up at a specific work site almost every work day.
  • Develop new habits that comfort and nourish you. Create new “positive addictions.”  Take a brief walk, gaze at fish in an aquarium, or breathe deeply into your belly for 3-5 minutes. You also release stress and elevate your outlook on life when you look at pictures of your pets and friends.
  • Identify and appreciate every little thing that helps you feel stronger because you’re employed. Even if you don’t like your job, having an income is a source of stability. You’re getting paid for being a responsible person.
  • Identify activities that feel good, no matter how brief a time and create opportunities to do more of them. Make your entire work area like a salve on a burn. Play music that feeds your spirit. Even if you have very little control over a shared work space, you can buy notepads and work folders in colors that soothe your jarred nervous system.
  • When you feel totally out of control of your personal life, introduce new mastery into your work life. Sign up for extra training or work with a mentor. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you take one tiny step forward after another. Even checking items off a to-do list triggers the release of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals. You radiate a new level of confidence. People perceive you in a new, more favorable way.


When you’re working, you’re usually protected from howling hurricanes at home. Relish the fact that you’re being paid to take a break from private concerns.

Allow your work life to be a safety zone where you’re appreciated for being who you are and reinforced for doing a job well. Even brief bursts of joy at work will create balance, stability, and tranquility.

© 2011. Are you ready to create a new life story? Download your free ebooks and MP3s at http://coachingbydoris.com/cbdnew/freerelationshipebooks. Sign up for your complimentary “Relationship Breakthrough Consultation” with certified coach and bestselling author, Doris Helge, Ph.D. at http://CoachingByDoris.com.

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