STRESS DURING DIVORCE

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MANAGING YOUR STRESS DURING THE DIVORCE PROCESS

The unimaginable has happened.  You and your spouse have filed for a divorce and now you are adrift on a sea of emotions trying to manage your stress during divorce.  One minute you feel sad and upset, the next angry and indignant.  Some days you can barely get out of bed and others you seem to have the energy of a toddler.

Stress During Divorce – What is going on?

During your divorce, 90% of your energy will be devoted to your emotions.  This makes it very difficult to address the many other aspects of your life such as parenting, physical fitness, mental calm and work with the remaining 10% of your energy.  You may feel like you are going crazy.  If you do, you are not alone, and that is okay.  Your mind is fighting to process the massive change in your life that a divorce brings.  It is okay to feel a little crazy.  This is the time in your life when you need to take a deep breath and realize that no matter how organized you are or how successful you are, you may need to ask for help.

Asking for help does not come easy to many people.  However, learning when to ask for help will get you on the path to mental balance more quickly than if you wait for someone to throw you a life-saving flotation device during a rough storm.  There are many ways to ask for help, you simply need to figure out which ways help you get back on track.

Stress During Divorce – Seek Help

You should consider engaging the services of a therapist or counsel during the divorce process.  Many people make the mistake of thinking their attorney can help them process the divorce in a therapeutic manner.  Attorneys are not trained to help you process the divorce, and they are not covered under your health insurance plan and thus, a very expensive method to guarantee that you do not get the help you need.  Check your health insurance provider and select a therapist, psychologist, or licensed mental health professional to help you process your feelings about the divorce and how it is you find yourself in this position.  Deciding to engage the services of a therapist can only help you through the divorce process.

Stress During Divorce – Talk to Trusted Friends

Take a few of your good friends and tell them what you need from them during this time.  Friends definitely want to be supportive, but may not know how.  If your friends are quick to say something negative or derogatory about your soon-to-be ex, you might ask them to stop and remember that this is the father or mother of your children, and your goal is to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship with that person.  You may need your friends to step up and take care of your children for you when you have a meeting with your attorney or accountant or are attending a hearing or mediation during the divorce process.  You may even need your friends to help you stay healthy.  If you need more yoga, find a friend that loves yoga and go to class with that person.  If you need someone to inspire you to continue going to the gym, then designate a friend as your work out buddy and ask them to help you stay on track at the gym.

Stress During Divorce – Take Good Care of Yourself

Remember that you need to take care of yourself.  Taking care of yourself means you remember to eat mostly healthy meals, you sleep at regular times each night, and forgive yourself for having a range of emotions.  You may find that you need to spend more quiet time at home than you previously used to, or that you need to focus on preparing healthy meals for you and your family.  This is a positive expenditure of your precious energy and worth it during the divorce process.

Stress During Divorce – Speak to an Attorney

After speaking to your attorney or when you need to make major decisions about your divorce, you need to take the time to think through the pros and cons of each possible decision and even reach out to seek the advice of someone you trust to help you think through the pros and cons of each possible decision.  For example, before deciding to keep the marital home, you may need to evaluate how much it will cost you to remain in the home after the divorce is finalized.  In most cases, the marital home is not affordable for just one person.  You need to evaluate the financial consequences against the other reasons you have for keeping the home.  It may be helpful to write down the pros and cons of each decision or to seek the advice of a financial planner to help you understand how your decisions today will affect you in the future.  Never make a rash decision based upon emotion.  It is best to think about the pros and cons, then sleep on it and see how you feel the next morning or a few days later.

Stress During Divorce – Reach out to Your Spiritual or Religious Community

If you are having difficulty managing your emotions and feelings during the divorce process, your church or temple may offer classes to assist you.  For example, many Catholic or Christian churches offer a program called Divorce Care.  Divorce Care classes are approximately 14 weeks long with meetings on a weekly basis.  A workbook is provided and each lesson is designed to help you heal during the divorce process.  During the weekly meeting, there is a lesson learned and discussion about that lesson and how it is affecting everyone in their life.  The purpose of the discussion is for you to realize that you are not alone, that others in the same boat are affected in the same way.   Often time parishes will also offer Divorce Care for Kids, which is designed to help children talk about and heal from divorce.

Knowledge is power.  The best help for you during the divorce is knowledge.  Knowledge about what is going on mentally, spiritually, physically, and legally.  If you need to consult an attorney about the legal process, call Angela R. Neave, Esquire at Fixel Neave, P.A., at (954) 981-2200 for a free consultation.

 

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