Going through a divorce is one of the most emotionally trying processes a person can experience. All of your dreams, hopes and expectations for the future seem to simply go up in smoke. If you have kids, chances are you are worried sick about how they will manage the changes and loss. Disappointing friends and family is a real burden, their desire for your happiness now transforming into uncertainty or blaming. The reality of the expenses of the tough divorce and the financial tolls taken in other ways, trying to make do on one salary or paying large amounts of support, for example, can be crushing.
How can you stay the course, keeping your emotions in check yet releasing stress and tension in appropriate ways? Here are some tips to keep you feeling sane during a rough divorce:
Reach Out To Trusted Friends
It is hard to keep some of the angst inside when you are going through a divorce. But not everyone in your family or social circle will be able to withstand being a constant sounding board. Take some time at the beginning to vet a few friends. See if they would be willing to let you rant and rave a bit. Asking ahead of time takes a bit of the edge off. And your acknowledgement that this is a stress reliever will also permit you to explode while also admitting your soon to be ex needn’t be considered the worst person ever. Make it clear that it is the grief and loss talking. But then make time to be with this friend without unloading as well.
Find A New Hobby Or Pastime
Take some comfort in a new passion that will be a steadfast option now and into the future. A new hobby or pastime can be a great way to let go without constantly rehashing the details of your marriage dissolution. Doing something enjoyable or creative during this stressful time can be very satisfying. Bringing a new source of joy and bolstering your self-esteem as you become more competent at the new activity.
Remember your mom or teacher always advised you to count to ten before reacting? Take time to make decisions during this volatile period of your life. If you make sure to think through what is being asked you will feel more in control. Your attorney should be chosen carefully, mirroring your values as much as possible so you are not fighting your legal counsel as well as your spouse as the divorce continues. If you do not react off the cuff constantly you may find many of the issues involved in the divorce fall into place. Be the calm and deliberate one — it suits you.
Work hard at staying in the moment, banishing the divorce and its details from infiltrating every bit of your life. Enjoy the aspects of your life that are not enmeshed in the divorce — lunching with co-workers, enjoying your kids without trashing your ex, spending a weekend away with a family member you haven’t seen for years or attending a class, concert or lecture. You might want to investigate yoga, massage or alternative wellness options like aromatherapy to lift your mood. Keep in mind that your life will go on after this major change and you can decide what it will look like. Make good choices.
If you are feeling depressed or angry, grief stricken or anxious do not be afraid to get competent therapy from a mental help professional. A good counselor or therapist can walk you through the process of letting go in a healthy way, taking you to a place where you can be your best for yourself and your children, if any, as the dissolution proceeds.