Divorce is a significant life event that has the potential to turn your world upside down. Daily routines are upset and stress levels can skyrocket during this unsettling time. Some partners may find it challenging to stay focused or productive as they struggle with the emotional aspects of this adjustment.
The end of a marriage can trigger all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, from guilt and frustration to anger, grief and loneliness. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies for managing negative emotions and moving on with your life.
Here are five strategies for coping with divorce that really work.
#1: Give yourself a break
Divorce is not easy. One of the most important things you can do is give yourself permission to take a break for a while. Take time for self-care and realize that it’s perfectly normal to feel depressed and unsettled. You don’t have to be superwoman or superman, and you may not be as productive at work or at home while you re-group.
#2: Find support and encouragement
You don’t have to heed the advice of friends and family, but be open to their support, love and encouragement. Sharing your feelings with loved ones is a step in the right direction. This is not a time to isolate or hole up in the bedroom. You may want to seek the outside help of a therapist to work through your issues and focus on your own personal development. There are also divorce support groups and self-help meetings.
#3: Take care of your physical & emotional health
It’s easy to lose sight of your own well-being during a divorce. Good eating habits and self-care often get lost in the shuffle. If there was ever a time to maintain healthy lifestyle routines – this is it. When you exercise regularly, eat well and get plenty of sleep, this reduces cortisol levels, eases stress and calms the mind. You’ll feel both physically and mentally stronger.
#4: Avoid dangerous and destructive behaviors
When you’re feeling down and wounded, it’s tempting to look for ways to alleviate pain. Judgment can be clouded, making some short-term solutions a dangerous coping mechanism. In the months leading up to and after the divorce, try and steer clear of destructive patterns:
- Avoid alcohol, drugs or gambling as a coping strategy
- Avoid negative outbursts, power struggles or taking revenge on your ex-spouse
- Avoid making major decisions until your head is clear
#5: Explore dormant interests or cultivate new ones
Think of divorce as an opportunity to reconnect with your inner self: a fresh chance to pursue the hobbies and activities your ex-partner didn’t like. Maybe you’ve always wanted to take guitar lessons or painting classes. Or perhaps join your local bowling league. Exploring new – or old—interests can bring great joy, and help you make new friends.
Questions about divorce in Bergen County or Rockland County?
The law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman provide skilled, compassionate support to residents in New Jersey and New York. To schedule a private consultation with divorce lawyers Bergen County residents have come to know and trust, call us toll-free at 888 624-4916.
Additional Resources on Divorce Coping Strategies:
- Psychology Today, Notes from My Divorce: 5 Coping Strategies that Worked https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201506/notes-my-divorce-5-coping-strategies-worked
- HuffPost, 7 Steps For Dealing With Divorce https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sarah-kelsey/coping-with-divorce_b_943658.html
- Mental Health America, Coping With Separation And Divorce http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/separation-and-divorce