Divorce is always difficult for everyone involved. When you get married, the reasonable expectation is that only death can end your eternal bond. You spend years working on your relationship and raising a family, and then cracks start to show. Eventually, those cracks turn into an unbridgeable chasm, and you’re left with no choice but to split.
Weeks turn into months, and eventually, you start looking forward to a new lease on life. However, it’s not uncommon for your emotions to waver, and you may experience occasional bouts of loneliness or anxiety. A family attorney can deal with the legal issues, but if you don’t properly deal with the emotional fallout of the divorce, you could find yourself suffering from deep-seated issues down the line.
The last thing you need is more emotional issues, which is why it’s important to learn how to cope with the stress of divorce. Otherwise, you could develop trust or self-confidence issues that make it harder for you to move past your trauma. Here are a few coping strategies to get you started.
1. Get active
One of the best ways to stabilize your emotions is to stay as active as possible. Regular physical activity can help you beat tension, stress, and anxiety, which are the main culprits behind your periods of low mood.
According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise releases dopamine, your body’s feel-good hormone, and reduces the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. People suffering from anxiety disorders and depression have also reported milder symptoms after engaging in physical activities.
2. Nurture your spirit
Your body and mind work in tandem, and your emotional needs are just as important as physical health. For many people, divorce inflicts the most damage on your psyche, and it’s important for you to take steps to heal your spirit.
A good place to start would be a therapist or a support group. Emotional healing starts with open communication with yourself and other people. If you often find yourself feeling anxious or overwhelmed, therapy and a quick chat with like-minded people can help ease some of the pain. It also helps to engage in activities that promote mindfulness and relaxation.
3. Practice self-care
You need to put yourself first, and there’s no better person to take care of you than yourself. Make sure to allow yourself to relax and unwind. Embracing positivity also does wonders for your emotional healing.
Start doing the things you love such as hot baths, dancing, reading, or whatever it is the brings you joy. If you don’t know what to do, this is also a good time to start a new hobby. Changes to your lifestyle can also have a dramatic impact on your quality of life. Quit your vices, start eating healthy, and connect with people.
4. Allow yourself to grieve
Divorce can be just as stressful as death, and in a way, it also represents the death of your marriage. You’re going to grapple with a lot of emotions, and what you do to deal with the stress of divorce can have a big effect on your emotional stability down the line.
Alcohol and medication may offer a temporary reprieve from the pain, but you risk permanently damaging your body and spirit. Allow yourself to grieve the divorce. It might be painful at the beginning, but you’ll end up in a better place if you learn to process the stress and anxiety in a more productive manner. There’s nothing to be gained from bottling your emotions.
5. Take it slow
After a traumatic event, people might feel that they have lost control over their lives. You might feel the need to do something drastic to regain a sense of control. But you shouldn’t make any major decisions or life changes until you’ve had some time to process the divorce. Some people are so dead set on doing something that they fail to consider the consequences of their actions.
You can’t be expected to make a rational decision during a crisis, so hold off on making major announcements or changes until you’re in a better place. Take it slow and focus on your healing as you proceed to the next chapter of your life.
A final word
There’s no denying that no one escapes unscathed from a divorce. Instead of dwelling on the loss, try to look forward to the new possibilities. Forgive yourself and make sure all your emotional baggage stays in the past where it belongs.