More often than not, divorce can be a painful and stressful time for all involved; especially during these challenging times amid the coronavirus pandemic. It regularly involves a lot of hurt, upset, movement, a change of routine, periods of transition, as well as financial and legal implications.
Divorce can be a whole-life upheaval, and when coupled with raw emotions, it can result in both physical and mental affliction.
Two main areas of stress can be present during the divorce process; the first being emotional and the second being the practical side. For people in the midst of starting a divorce or are already in the process of getting one, this new challenge can only add to your existing stress level.
If you are still living together with your partner, being confined together can actually cause more harm and create more problems.
To successfully navigate through the troubled waters of separation, here are some useful tips on how to make the best of a devastating situation, help you relax and stay positive through undeniably daunting days.
Focus On You
When you have been in a relationship for a number of years, it may feel alien, or even selfish, to think about your individual needs. Often, decisions within a partnership involve compromise, but now is the time to consider your personal desires.
The demise of a marriage can often require a spell of grieving, and this can be a highly emotional and vulnerable period. Take some quality time to assess how you feel and what nourishment your emotional wellbeing needs to be enriched again.
There is no shame in going through a divorce or facing the breakdown of a relationship, so make sure you talk through how you are feeling with a person or persons who can help you. This can involve speaking to a therapist, support or online group, friends or family.
Strict quarantine measures have put a stop to face-to-face meetings; but you can now contact your loved ones using your favourite social media platform latest feature, Facebook video calling.
Talking through how you feel is a great way to find your footing again and discover your emotions instead of your significant other. One word of warning is to pick who you speak to carefully. The grief associated with divorce can be a long and challenging process to navigate, and there will be a lot of emotions to work through.
Your friends and family will want to support you wholeheartedly but also don’t forget that they have their own lives to live too. Try not to overwhelm your confidant; perhaps speak to more than one person or use your best judgement about how much and how often you offload.
If no one in your household is contagious with COVID-19 or been in contact with anyone, it is good to share a hug with someone you trust.
Pick Your Priorities
Life doesn’t stop for you to go through the process of divorce – you will still have every day essential things that need doing. You have your bills to pay, children to look after, a house to clean, a job to do. But divorce will also add to your list of chores – you may have to move, find a new home, change your name, find your kids a new school and so forth.
What can already be an overwhelming time can become even more overpowering, so a critical coping technique is to prioritise?
Make a list of everything in your head and then re-write it in order of importance. Then start working through the list one-by-one. By merely ordering your thoughts and then seeing how you incrementally accomplish each task can result in a real boost to feelings of control, diminish any underlying panic and help your self-worth flourish.
During times of stress, it’s easy to let go of healthy habits. To combat the emotional stresses associated with a divorce, it is essential to maintain, or even start healthy behaviours.
A simple walk or regular form of exercise every day is an impactful way of boosting emotions, relieving anxiety, and improving mood. Don’t forget that eating healthy regular meals and getting enough rest can also be a pivotal way to combat stress and cultivate wellbeing.
Don’t forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Nourish and Nurture
As well as boosting your mood by eating well, resting and exercising, make sure you also take measures to nourish your emotional wellbeing too.
Set time aside to read, take a bath or start a new hobby. Decide what sort of lifestyle would feed your feelings of self-worth and positivity and work towards putting those measures in place.
You may find that marriage resulted in you reassessing your priorities, and you may have even let go of some interests to form a compromise. Consider if you have any latent interests that could be revisited. The grieving process of divorce may have left you feeling insecure, lacking worth and wanting to isolate but, by finding those small enjoyments in life, you will soon start to rebuild confidence and find a new purpose.
Divorce is not only an ending but the opportunity to find new beginnings, and this includes uncovering new interests or revisiting old ones.
Pack Up and Power On
Bit by bit start to pack up your old life and forge forward with your new one. This includes putting away photos and memorabilia, taking on those roles that your ex may have been in charge of and clearing your history to make way for the new you.
Part of moving forward is to enable forgiveness and letting go of any negative feelings that you may be harbouring. This includes harmful opinions about yourself or your ex-spouse. By not coming to terms with these emotions, it will only add hurt to your future and bring baggage into any new relationships.
Take the time needed to heal from the divorce and any emotions of loss and pain. Try to look inward and own your responsibility for any of the problems that led to the relationship breakdown. Forgive yourself and your spouse and don’t allow the issues from this marriage to follow you into any new partnerships.
Take Care Of Your Children
If you have children, sticking to routines will help life feel as healthy as possible. Reassure them that this unfamiliar time is temporary and you’ll do your best to avoid fighting or taking out your stress and fear on each other.
Child and domestic abuse increases during these times of uncertainty and financial difficulty. Seek help from a professional if you’re worried about your safety or wellbeing of your child(ren).
Thrive – Don’t Just Get By!
Grief and pain don’t last forever if they are managed effectively and worked through sensibly. While it may seem tempting to patch over any pain, the process is always temporary and never truly leads to healing.
Not to mention, it can be dangerous and even deadly in the long-term.
- Avoid using drugs, alcohol or involving yourself in highly addictive activities, such as gambling
- Avoid promiscuous activities or rebound relationships to stave off loneliness
- Avoid hasty decisions, feelings of anger or aggression or acting out towards your ex, this includes vengeful actions
- Avoid making big decisions until you have reached a stage of mental clarity
There are countless support groups to help you through the stresses associated with divorce, and never forget that ‘this too shall pass.’
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