Thinking you’ve found the person of your dreams, getting married and starting a family only to realize that they are not the one for you is usually very painful and stressful. Plus, if you have kids, the separation or divorce puts even more pressure on you as you’re thinking about their wellbeing as well. All of this can easily lead to anxiety and depression as well as other health issues such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
However, this period in your life does not have to be so nerve-racking. You should make your mental health a priority and look for ways to cope with this situation without sinking into depression. To help you out, we’ve gathered some tips that can make dealing with divorce a bit easier. Take a look.
Assess why your relationship crumbled
In order to be able to move on and feel better about yourself, you need to take an honest look at your relationship and try to figure out why it failed. Were you ever happy or were you fooling yourself? Were you just too different or were there more serious issues? Once you come to a conclusion, you will get a sense of closure and you might be able to close this chapter of your life once and for all. Not having to constantly wonder “what if” will definitely allow you to look forward.
Allow yourself to grieve and heal
Regardless of how the relationship ended, you are allowed to feel sad about it being over. There were surely some good parts and you should acknowledge them and grieve what you lost. It’s okay to miss the positive aspects but you should learn to let go of them in order to make room for new feelings and new relationships.
Find the best approach to divorce
It’s important that you know that not every divorce has to end in court. Litigation is usually a stressful process and if kids are involved, it’s far more difficult. That is why you can consider some alternatives that are much better for everyone’s mental health. For instance, family lawyers such as those at Doolan Wagner specialize in facilitating negotiation and discussion. This meaningful approach can help you reach an agreement everyone feels comfortable with.
Ask for professional help
In case you find yourself going through a tedious court process, your mental health might be affected. You should not be ashamed of admitting that you went through some heavy emotional trauma. If you’re unable to cope with the situation, seek expert help. Turning to a licensed therapist is the best way to deal with the issues you’re going through as these experienced professionals will recommend methods and ways to move forward.
Surround yourself with positive people
One of the things a therapist will definitely recommend is surrounding yourself with positive people. Building a support system of individuals you trust and who are always there for you will help you overcome occasional bouts of sadness. Your friends and family will distract you and encourage you to start living your life again. You can even join a divorce support group where you can talk to people experiencing similar problems. If there are any toxic people in your environment that you see are deterring your progress, it’s time to cut ties with them as they are only bringing you down.
Don’t resort to negative coping strategies
When dealing with a lot of stress, it’s easy for some people to turn to negative coping strategies. It’s not uncommon to see divorced people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, and you should do your best to avoid this scenario. Other people jump into new relationships immediately as they’re trying to prove to themselves and everyone else that they weren’t the reason their marriage ended. Don’t put yourself or the other person through this, you deserve better. Also, if you notice that social media has a detrimental impact on your mental health, limit your online time or uninstall those apps altogether.
Look for hobbies that you enjoy
Now that you are single, it doesn’t mean that you have to go mingle right away. Dedicate some time to yourself first and look for things that make you happy. Maybe you had a hobby before that you had to give up. Take it up again and see if it’s still fulfilling. However, if you associate it with bad times, try new things. Sign up for a cooking class or learn a new language. Look for an online tutorial and learn to sew or knit. Start your own organic garden. Your possibilities here are truly countless and you can try out so many things until you find those that make you happy.
Don’t ignore your physical health
Even though this article is about your mental health, we cannot neglect the physical aspect of it. In order to feel good, you have to be healthy. So, start eating well – that organic garden can be really useful. Lead a more active lifestyle. You can find numerous online videos showing you how to start doing some light exercises. You can gradually move on to more demanding workouts. Join a gym and get a personal trainer if you just can’t get yourself going. Go for a jog in the morning – not only will you get some exercise but also some fresh air and vitamin D. Furthermore, your hobby can be something sports-related such as yoga, kickboxing or even archery.
Create a new routine
Changing your routine will allow you to leave that post-divorce slump. Go out for lunch a couple of times a week. Visit new restaurants and try out new types of cuisine. Make one Sunday a month your Sunday-Funday and go to brunch with your friends and organize all kinds of interesting activities. Clean out your closets and get new clothes. Experiment with the way you dress. Reorganize your house. Think of new places you would like to visit. Every single one of these things, regardless of how big or small, will help you feel better.
If you’ve just gone through a divorce, you need to understand that it is not the end of the world. You’ve left a bad situation and now you get a chance to focus on yourself. Rely on these nine ways of coping with a huge change in your life and you will see your mental health improve.