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Ending a relationship is tough. It’s the start of a new chapter, and as the old saying goes, “Endings are sad, and beginnings are scary.”
When you are getting a divorce, you’re experiencing sad and scared emotions all at once. It is important to recognize these feelings in this time and to learn how to process all the emotions that come up after a divorce. Here are 10 things to try to reduce stress and aid in emotional processing after a divorce.
1. Feel the feelings: Accept that you are probably grieving, angry, and sad. These will be painful and you might struggle. But it is important to deal with it rather than try to shove your emotions under the rug. Going through the pain and uncertainty is a part of the healing process, and will eventually allow you to move on.
2. Reach out to others: You might have lost one friend as a result of this divorce, but you are not alone, and you do not have to go through it alone. Reach out to friends and other family to help you. Spend time with people who recognize your worth, buoy you up, and listen to how you feel. Find someone who has been through a similar situation and ask them for support and advice.
3. Take care of yourself: Treat yourself with care during this period – almost as though you were getting over a serious illness. Nurture yourself with daily activities, such as a long walks, hot baths, or even a good strong cup of coffee. Stick to a regular routine with time for yourself, including exercise. Don’t turn to alcohol or food to cope with your emotions. Find healthy habits to get you through this tough time.
4. Explore new interests: Perhaps there is a hobby or activity you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time or motivation. This is a new chapter in your life, so you should try new things. Perhaps you could enroll in a cooking class, or start painting. Learn a new dance or join a running group. All of these things will give you something to look forward to as well as expand your group of friends.
5. Let go: Let go of your ex, let go of the pain, and mostly, let go of things beyond your own control. Ultimately, you are only responsible for your own happiness. So – do not engage in conflict with your ex. Spouses know all the best ways to hurt each other – so do not allow the other party to hurt you.
6. Take it slow – at least at first: You might be thrilled to be divorced and want to start your new life immediately. But you should wait until you are less emotional before making any rash decisions. Wait a few months before you move to a new state or start a new job or cut off all your hair. Do all of these things with a clear vision for what you want your future to look like instead of in the midst of closing out an old chapter of your life.
7. Set goals: Maybe you want to save money to travel somewhere. Perhaps you’d like to run a marathon in the next twelve months, or even volunteer once a month at a different charity. By setting goals, you start to picture your future, and are able to actually work towards something tangible. You become more productive, more confident, and more focused on tasks rather than emotions.
8. Get help: in all things. You might think you need to see a therapist or counselor to help you work through your emotions. Get help! If you are uncertain about your financial stability and how you’re going to make ends meet – get help! Seek out a financial planner. If you are overwhelmed with raising the kids, cooking dinner, working full-time and you feel a cold coming on – Get help! Do not be afraid to ask others for their support and help, whether it is professional or friendly. There is no shame in needing to take a step back and lean on another.
9. Focus on communicating: If you and your spouse have children, you will have to speak to him or her no matter what. Focus on how you communicate with them. Try to make it simple, short, and as positive as possible. If your conversation ends in an argument, learn from that and figure out what went wrong. Always try to take the high road and don’t let them anger you, as hard as it may be. There a lot of support groups and programs that will help you learn to communicate more effectively with your ex when parenting your children. Explore as many options as possible because ultimately, if you cannot speak to your spouse, the only person who will suffer is the child.
10. Live in the present: when you think about everything you have to do, or if you will be alone forever and how you will cope, this can trigger all your stress. When this starts to happen and that panicky feeling creeps in, focus on the present. Take a minute and use all your senses to focus on what is around you. Breathe deeply, examine your surroundings, pay attention to what the air feels like. Taking this little break will allow your heart rate to slow, and hopefully stave off feelings of stress and panic. Practicing mindfulness will keep you calm and rational throughout this emotional time.
Contact a Fresno and San Diego Family Law Attorney
Rebecca Medina is a family law attorney serving the Fresno, California area. If you are looking for a local divorce attorney who will handle your case competently and compassionately, contact the law offices of Rebecca Medina, who will guide you through the stressful process of getting a divorce.