A lot of us describe the very same feeling.  In the weeks following a crisis, life slows down.  Suddenly the very air around you changes to some other viscous substance.  Reality becomes so heightened it feels like there is space between the seconds.  Every color screams and every stranger’s eyes have something to tell you.  Because your future is hanging in the balance, every little incident seems portentous or else it doesn’t register at all.

This is the weird limbo state that many women pass through as the reality of impending split sinks in.  Below, twenty women give their tips for the best way to get through it.

“Don’t drink too much. It may be tempting to take that bottle to bed with you during the darkest moments. Just don’t.”

“Meet with a lawyer-even if you aren’t certain you want to hire one, or if you aren’t certain you will proceed with the divorce.”

“Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t focus enough to read or work productively.”

“Eat (well), sleep, exercise.”

“Call on your friends or siblings for help. Really allow them to be there for you. Is there someone you can call in the middle of the night?”

“Call on a friend who will make a regular date  for a run,  a morning at the gym, or a  hike with you.”

“Do read some good self-help books. Now is the time.” ( For a list of suggestions, click here)

“Treat yourself like a queen, get a regular massage or a pedicure or some other pampering treatment. If you can, schedule it after the talks with your ex, to flush some of the stress away.”

“Buy something you love,that your married life just wouldn’t accommodate.”

“Meditate– if you are a newbie, find a class, or a group.”

“Re-visit the passions you abandoned earlier in life. Ice Dancing? Scrabble? Find out where and who and do them. They will fill the new spaces in your life, and remind you of who you are.”

“Surround yourself with what makes you happy-pictures of an ideal beach, new paint color for your bedroom.”

“Find other women who have been through it.”

“Reach out to other women going through it. Yes, it does help to have someone to vent about your ex with. Lots of times our married friends are not easy to vent with-they tend to have less time and also there’s that threat thing.”

“Try Alanon, especially if your ex had substance abuse issues, but the issues of co-dependence haunt all of us.”

“Don’t keep it a secret from close friends or family-they are precisely the support you need right now!”

“Spend money buying music instead of ice cream.”

“Line up stuff to do during those first days and nights without kids-even if its an odd volunteer gig or cherished afternoon of solitaire.”

“Don’t say yes to ANYTHING you aren’t sure about right now.”

“Talking about it is the best way to get through it, get help and get stronger!”