Coping with Divorce
Every divorce is unique. In some cases, it may be cause for joyous celebration on the part of both spouses. For others, their divorce will be an agonizing end to a relationship they have dedicated much of their lives to. Most people will fall closer to the latter category, especially if there is significant contention over the terms of the divorce, and even more so when children are involved.
If you are like the majority of people, for whom divorce will be an incredibly stressful affair, it is absolutely essential that you take steps to manage your anxiety and prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by the strain.
We have previously discussed the steps you can take to help your children cope with your divorce, but today’s blog is all about taking care of YOUR needs. If you allow yourself to submit to the extreme stressors of divorce without taking action to sooth the symptoms, you may find yourself in a very dark place where you become unable to effectively care for yourself, your children, or anyone else for that matter.
Here are some of the most important keys to coping with an overwhelming divorce:
Seek professional guidance
Rather than trying to be a superhero and handle everything on your own, enlist professionals whom you can trust to manage the complex affairs of your divorce. Firstly, you will need a skilled attorney who understands the system to advocate for your best interests. When you are struggling with the grieving process of ending your marriage the last thing you need is to try to become a self-taught attorney overnight. An attorney like those at Hensley Legal Services will help streamline the process, avoid costly mistakes, and ensure your divorce is handled both fairly and efficiently.
Perhaps even more importantly—at least with regard to your divorce stress—don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek help from a professional counselor. Therapy will provide you with a guided venue in which you can process your many emotions and learn healthy coping strategies. Nurturing your mental health is a key component of combating divorce stress and anxiety.
Go for a jog
Go hiking. Lift weights. Take a Zumba class. Play pickup basketball. Do whatever you can to be active and get exercise. Working out is one of the most effective natural stress-relievers available. You don’t have to become a Crossfit champion—just get out and get your heart rate up. Even minimal exercise can provide a healthy distraction from your divorce. Not only that, but exercise also releases endorphins into your brain—a chemical that is known to produce feelings of euphoria and combat mental and physical symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Lean on loved ones
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family care for you, and they will want to help you cope with the struggles of your divorce—both logistical and emotional in nature. Develop a support system comprised of the people closest to you whom you can reach out to when you need a compassionate ear, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to watch the kids while you attend a divorce mediation session.
Look to the future
Life is what we make it. You can look at your divorce as a crushing end to a once happy life, or you can look at it as an opportunity for a fresh new beginning, a chance to pursue long lost dreams or establish new goals. In order to help you adjust your perspective, give yourself things to look forward to. Make a list of new things you’d like to learn or achieve. Pursue a new hobby. Take a class and learn a new skill. Plan a vacation. Divorce does not mean your life is ending. Give yourself things to look forward to—they will be the foundation upon which you will build a new life.
If you or a loved one is going through a Greensboro divorce or child custody battle, contact Meghan O’Keeffe at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson (336) 379-0539