Divorce is among the most challenging things a family can go through. Statistics show per 1,000 individuals, the divorce rate in the United States is 2.3%, making it a widespread occurrence. Dissolving a marriage can be emotionally and mentally draining, and looking after your mental health during this time is essential. Coping with divorce in healthy ways is essential to keep stress levels low and maintain good mental health. Here are four ways to effectively cope with the emotional upheaval that comes with divorce.
1. Reach out to friends and family
During this turbulent time, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by emotions. It can be helpful to reach out to close friends or family members who will lend an ear and provide support. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with someone you know, consider joining a support group where you can share your feelings with people who have had similar experiences.
No matter who you choose to talk to, it’s important to remember that everyone experiences difficult times differently. Just because someone may not have had the same experience as you does not mean their words of support and advice are invalid.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and don’t be ashamed to admit that you are struggling. This could be as simple as asking a friend or family member to check in with you periodically or having someone help look after your children or housework if you need extra support.
Exercise is a great way to manage stress and release negative emotions. Exercising will help you stay in shape, both physically and mentally. Additionally, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to take control of something in your life at a time when everything else may be out of control during your divorce.
Exercising isn’t about going to the gym or running a marathon. It can include simple activities like taking a brisk walk, riding a bike, playing with your children at the park, doing yoga, or even gardening. All these activities will help release endorphins that improve your mood and make you feel relaxed and energized. Exercise also helps you stay focused and productive since it reduces the body’s level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Also, exercising with other people going through the same experience can help manage stress. Being part of a group of individuals who understand what you are going through can be beneficial in terms of emotional support. Working out with a group can also make it more fun and exciting and motivate you to stick to your exercise plan.
3. Don’t suppress your emotions
You may try to ignore or suppress your feelings to cope with the situation. However, this is not an effective way to deal with divorce. Instead, try to identify and address the underlying issues causing stress. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, join a support group, or seek professional help.
It is important to remember that emotions are a normal part of life, and by acknowledging them, you can gain insight into yourself and your overall well-being. When dealing with challenging emotions, mindfulness can be a helpful tool for allowing yourself to be present with the emotion without judgment or suppression. Practicing mindful self-talk can also help in difficult moments. This involves speaking to yourself in a compassionate and understanding way, providing yourself with the same kindness you might give to someone else.
Additionally, journaling and engaging in creative activities are helpful tools for expressing your emotions. Journaling can help to externalize feelings, allowing you to gain insight into how you’re feeling and what is triggering them. Creative activities such as art, music, or writing can also be an effective outlet for processing difficult emotions, giving a safe and non-judgmental space to explore your inner world.
4. Seek professional help
If you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with the changes, consider seeking professional help. A qualified mental health professional can provide guidance and support as you transition to a new phase of life after divorce. They can help you work through difficult emotions and develop new coping strategies to help you manage the stress of your situation.
Talking to a divorce lawyer can also be beneficial. They can advise on how to handle the legal aspects of divorce best and help ensure your rights are respected throughout the proceedings. Furthermore, they have experience handling family law matters and will guide you through difficult decisions regarding child custody, property division, and more. Working with a divorce lawyer can be invaluable if you need assistance with the legal process.
In addition to professional help, there are other resources available to help you manage the transition. Support groups, online resources, and self-help books are all excellent options for getting assistance during this difficult time.
Here are online resources you may find helpful during your divorce:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- The Center for Divorce Education
- The American Psychological Association
- Divorce Magazine
No matter which resources you choose, deciding to seek help can be a positive step in your journey toward healing. Remember, you are not alone; with the proper support, you can navigate this new phase of life with strength and resilience.
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it does not have to be debilitating. Taking the time to care for your mental health is key to navigating this challenging period. Gaining support from friends, family, and professionals can help you through this difficult time. By following these four tips, you can cope with divorce healthily and move forward with your life.