4 Tips for Handling the Emotional Stress of Divorce
Divorce can deal with some of the most precious and sensitive aspects of your life. So it’s no wonder that the emotional stress of divorce can get so bad it starts physically affecting you.
Given that divorce cases can take time to resolve (even when there are only a few issues that couples can’t agree on), knowing how to deal with the emotional stress of divorce can help you:
- Stay positive
- Prevent the stress of divorce from impacting other important aspects of your life – like your children and/or career
- Avoid illness and disease
Everyone handles stress differently. Some people cry when they’re frustrated. Others silently seethe and plot revenge. If you see any of the following physical or psychological symptoms in yourself, the tips in the next section will help. It may be worth a trip to a psychologist if these symptoms persist past the finalization of the divorce.
Physical Symptoms of Stress:
- Fatigue (more than normal)
- High Blood Pressure
- Grinding Teeth
- Skin Problems
- Tightness in Chest
- Weight change (unintentional)
There have been health studies on people going through divorce or recently divorced. These studies link divorce-related stress to increased rates of illness and disease.
Psychological symptoms of stress:
- Increase in consumption of tobacco/alcohol/drugs
- Mood swings
- Withdrawing from social activities and people
Following the tips below will help you deal with any stress as you are preparing for or going through a divorce.
These tips help with all types of stress, but they’re focused on around the emotional stress of divorce.
Working out and staying active can help you relieve some tension, get some anger out, and reduce your anxiety. It also generates endorphins (the chemical in your brain that makes you happy) as you stay/get fit and maintain your health. All of this, in turn, can promote positive feelings that can help combat the stress of divorce.
You nourish your emotional and creative sides by spending down time doing things you enjoy. Hobbies are a wonderful outlet to express yourself and focus on something else for an hour to two. Alternatively, this is an excellent time to try something that you have always wanted to do.
A hobby can provide some added emotional support, and it may even help you meet new people. It allows you to build your self-confidence as you let go of the stress of divorce.
Even better than focusing on a hobby or starting a new one, share a hobby with someone you love. This strategy hits several birds with one stone. You focus on something other than your stress. You are spending time with the support network which has been there your whole life. Plus, you are making sure to socialize and not withdraw. (Withdrawing from people can make the stress worse.)
When divorce gets especially stressful, know who you can turn to when you need a shoulder to lean on or an ear you can trust. Some people can benefit from attending therapy during a divorce, and others may feel better relying on their family or friends.
Regardless of who your confidante is, make sure it’s someone you trust. Whatever you do, avoid using your social media profiles as a platform for venting. This could come back to bite you later if you write something your ex’s lawyer can use against you.
One of the things that can make divorce particularly stressful is fighting with an ex over the little things because you blame him or her for the end of the marriage.
In fact, holding on to your anger and letting it drive your choices in divorce can end up being more toxic for you than it will ever be for your ex. That’s because making decisions in anger or bitterness during a divorce won’t necessarily help you get what you want – but it will probably end up prolonging the process and increasing the costs.
So, try to focus on the future, rather than the past and who’s to blame for what. Think about what your ideal divorce outcomes will look like. What might you be willing to step back on in order to get those outcomes? Letting go, thinking about the next phase of your life, and being open to compromise can all reduce the stress of divorce. Plus, it may even help you achieve better resolutions than if you focus on battling your ex every step of the way.
If you are in need of legal support during a divorce, contact a Las Vegas divorce attorney. They can help sort things out. For emotional support, we encourage meeting with a therapist or spending time with family to work through the emotions in a healthy way.