Keeping your sanity during divorce can be hard. The process brings a lot of emotions to the surface—painful feelings, bittersweet memories, unhealthy thought patterns, and unrealistic expectations—but very few people remember to give themselves the care they truly need to get through this time. Divorce isn’t a process to just power through; trying to suppress your feelings can cause more pain and hinder your healing process. Maintain your mental and emotional health during and after divorce with these tips.
1. Lean on Others
It’s hard for many of us to admit that we need help, especially if we feel like our heavy emotions might burden those in our life. However, it’s an essential part of the healing process. You cannot do this alone. Your friends and family members know you’re struggling, and are probably waiting for you to open that door and let them in. Giving them the opportunity to support you during this time can deepen and strengthen your relationships as well as give you the reinforcement and strength to continue to walk through this stage of your life. Avoid gossiping or rehashing the stressful parts of the process that will inevitably happen, as this can continue to fuel the negative emotions that hinder both your healing and the divorce’s progress. Do discuss your challenges and setbacks with trusted loved ones in an effort to work through them and come away looking ahead, not back.
2. Get Those Endorphins Going
Exercising often feels unnatural during divorce. The emotional side of divorce can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained, so why exhaust yourself further? Exercising during stressful times actually has a number of benefits. It can increase your energy level, leaving you more capable of handling your daily tasks and of navigating the divorce process. It keeps your body strong, giving you a sense of empowerment and reinforcing your ability to handle whatever comes. It also triggers the release of endorphins in your brain, helping you improve and stabilize your mood, which allows you to focus on moving forward. So take a walk outside, ride your bike with your children, or even polish off those dance moves in your living room!
3. Look Inward
This is the hard emotional work that people turn away from during divorce, but it’s also one of the most important things you can do. Divorce can leave an you with lots of unanswered questions, guilt, pain, and a feeling of being out of control. Spend some time thinking about your marriage and its path to divorce, how you may have contributed to your broken marriage, and how you tried to mend it. Don’t just dwell on the negative. Also take a look at what you’ve learned in the process and how you’ve become stronger and perhaps a bit wiser. This is a chance to look at what may have led you into an unhealthy marriage and to help you break that cycle in future relationships. There can be a lot of personal growth that happens during periods of change; embrace this time to recalibrate yourself and grow.
4. Make Plans for Your New Life
It’s easy to focus on what you’re losing in divorce, but you truly have a lot to gain once you make it through this chapter of your life. This is your time to really think about what is genuinely important to you, focus on those things, and let go of those things that really don’t matter. This can involve everything from an old sofa to old acquaintances. Maybe this is your chance to build unbreakable relationships with your children, to spend more time with your trusted friends and deepen those relationships, or to rediscover a hobby or passion that you gave up when you were married. Perhaps you’ll decide to start a new career path or focus on growing in your current one. Look ahead to the future, and see this as an opportunity to start anew with decisions that you are making to craft your new future.
5. Seek Additional Support if Needed
Don’t hesitate to get counseling, therapy or coaching if you feel like you can’t handle the stress and pain of divorce, especially if it is spilling over onto your children. Divorce brings about massive life changes in many different forms, and for many people professional help is the key to making it through one of the most grueling experiences anyone can face. Therapy is a great option that provides insight, perspective and tools for helping you navigate this phase.. Find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable, and commit with determination to emerge from your divorce stronger and healthier than ever.
With the right support, you can make it through divorce and look forward with hope, find peace, and focus with optimism on the next chapter of your life. The team at Hargrave Family Law is here to help. Contact us now to get started.