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Do-it-Yourself tips for managing pressures

Dealing with government departments

  • Ask for the name of the person that you are dealing with for future reference.
  • Keep copies of documents provided to each department (record the date, person and section they are sent to).

Getting time off work

  • Speak to your superiors and colleagues, and explain your situation.-Suggest a possible compromise – Friday afternoons off for an extra 35 minutes a day.-Set a period of time for this then review it.
  • Know your limitations and let others know them too.

Smaller social network

  • Consider volunteering where the work is done on a group basis e.g. fire rescue service, life saving, your child’s school Parents and Friends network.

Learning to cook

  • Ask a friend to teach you to cook in exchange for doing some handy work, mowing their lawn, baby sitting or help with some other project they might have on.
  • Borrow a book from the library on cooking basic meals.

Maintaining the car

  • Look on the web for information on your brand of car.
  • Get road service membership such as NRMA, RACQ etc for when you lock your keys in the car, have a flat tyre, your battery suddenly goes dead, or your car breaks down in an inconvenient location.
  • Take a course in car maintenance.

Shopping for groceries

  • Look on the web for home shopping grocery sites such as Coles or Woolworths.-Browse through each section and make a list of what you need – use this as a prompter each time you shop.-It also gives you an idea of the costs involved.
  • Generic food brands are often cheaper and just as good as the label brands.

Less money

  • Contact your local utility service company to arrange instalment payments for your electricity, telephone, insurance rates etc.
  • Join a group that buys groceries in bulk – this can be cheaper.-These are usually co-ops or local community groups.

Managing relationships

  • Ensure that the important people in your children’s lives are invited to school plays, religious ceremonies, music recitals, sports events etc.

Understanding your children’s routine

  • Have a calendar or notebook with important dates highlighted, e.g. sports carnival, swimming carnival, parent reading at school, doctors appointments, weekend sports locations, etc.

Organising care for the kids

  • Talk to your child’s school and see what school care programs you can access e.g. before and after-school care, and holiday programs.
  • Place a notice for parents in the school newsletter requesting child minding after school.-In return, offer something that you can do for the other parent.
  • Enquire with your local community service provider about available child care programs.

Extract from “What about Me?” Practical ideas on looking after yourself after separation.

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