When you are in the middle of a divorce, it can be easy to get swept up in negative emotions. Even if the divorce was your idea and was not brought on by infidelity or some other indiscretion, there is still a chapter in your life that is coming to a close, and that means that stress is bound to arise for even the most positive couples.
Even amicable relationships are hard (and expensive) to dissolve, and divorce is a common reason for depression and anxiety. Here is how you can better handle the stress that divorce brings.
One thing that you have to learn when it comes to dealing with divorce is that once the ball is rolling, you have to learn to let things happen. There is no way to fast forward beyond the stress, and you need to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come up. The key is not to focus on them. Consider personal counseling or art therapy to help you vent your feelings, and learn to let go of the things that you cannot control. Divorce is going to bring up happy memories as well as sad ones, and this is your time to observe them, recognize them, and put them away.
Nurturing yourself during divorce is important. Take care of your body, and your mind will be in a better place to cope with what you need to do to get through each day. Diet and exercise are important for your mental health and wellness as well as your physical health, and they play a large role in how well you handle stress. So when things get overwhelming, escape for a long walk at your nearest park or beach. Bring along your iPod or Walkman and just walk until you feel relief from your stress. Walk for at least an hour and you’ll be surprised at how positive you feel afterward.
Exercise makes the ‘feel good’ endorphins kick in, so walk, swim or bike ride often. Even if the best you can do is a walk around the block on your lunch break, do it, and you’ll reap the positive benefits of a dose of fresh air and sunshine, and relief from that ‘trapped’ feeling that often accompanies long-term stress. We guarantee you’ll return to work in a better mood.
You will also find that simply ‘Me-Time’ things such as a bubble bath, a massage, a movie, or an evening with a close friend can be nurturing and can ease stress. If you have kids, ask if you can take part in their hobbies, which will help you fill the long evenings. Painting silly pictures with your daughter or bike-riding with your son can be a great way to get out of your own head for a few hours, and provides great bonding time with the kids.
Divorce is certainly a time of stress, but when you focus on yourself and learn to deal with what is happening, you can get through it in one piece with your sanity intact.