Stress, Anxiety, & Divorce: Strategies to Cope
Stress, Anxiety, & Divorce: Strategies to Cope
Divorce is tough and can be one of the most stressful life events to deal with. It can have quite the impact on your health, both physically and mentally. With divorce often comes high levels of stress and anxiety, and the effects can feel crushing.
It is important that you acknowledge your feelings, don’t be in denial, and remember that you are not the only one feeling this way. By allowing yourself to both grieve and combat stress, you will find that you are allowing yourself to cope at your own rate. It can be overwhelming and you may find yourself getting caught up in the divorce process and it can leave you feeling like you don’t know where to turn and how to manage your feelings. However, there are some powerful strategies, tools, and resources that can help you.
For During Your Divorce: To Avoid Stress
1. Have a Divorce Mediation Expert On Your Side
The very thought of the traditional divorce process is anxiety provoking. From trying to reach an agreement with your spouse to going to court can be very stressful. The thought of standing in front of a judge, explaining your case, and waiting for a decision can be nerve wracking.
A way to help you reduce stress is to work with your trusted divorce mediator. A divorce mediator can help guide you through the divorce process online rather than having to go to court. This way you can work out most things and come to an agreement through meeting with your mediator. Your mediator can help both you and your spouse communicate better throughout the process respectfully, and help you to approach sensitive conversations calmly. Not only does opting for divorce mediation help you better negotiate and skip the courtroom, but it can also help to reduce financial stress and anxiety due to its cost effectiveness.
2. Seek Professional Support For Your Mental Health and To Avoid Stress
Going through divorce can be mentally exhausting. Not only does divorce create a sense of uncertainty in your life, but navigating it during these unprecedented and challenging times can cause you to feel apprehensive about your future and what can transpire. If you find that your anxiety is taking over your daily tasks and making it hard to function, it can be very helpful to seek professional support. Setting up a meeting and connecting with a specialist through online psychiatry services can help you with receiving additional support for your anxiety during your divorce and beyond. Partaking in a mental health consultation can help you to discuss your anxiety and create a plan for how to better manage it. Having therapy techniques at your disposal can help you keep your nerves and stress at bay when navigating your divorce process.
Photo from Pexels by Shvets Production
3. Focus on the Future
Thinking about everything that is not working in your relationships and the difficult times you have gone through can heighten your anxiety, and be depressing. It can be tempting to fall into rehashing the past, arguing with your spouse to have them see your point of view, or thinking about everything that was unpleasant in your relationship. Try your best to move on from the stressors of the past, and instead focus on moving forward. Rather think about your course of action for the future and what you are looking forward to. How will your transition be, what support will you need, how will you divide the assets, or your parenting plan if need be. Try to remain objective and get these points nailed down, rather than spending your time and energy on the past. Although it can be difficult to do, when you find yourself thinking about what went wrong in your relationship, block it out and instead replace these thoughts with what you want to do in your near future. Do you want to focus on your career, move to a new neighborhood, the chance to do something different? Shifting your mindset to be future-oriented can help you to stay optimistic and cope, rather than to be bogged down by stress of the past and present.
4. Embrace Relaxation Tools To Avoid Stress
Another strategy that can help to relieve stress and anxiety during the divorce process is to utilize tools to de-stress. There are many out there from meditation guides, gratitude journals, guided breathing apps, yoga and more. Whenever you feel stressed try to ground yourself by using one or more of these tools. Trying something like guided meditation can get your mind off of the divorce process by having you focus your thoughts, and move your body along with the course. You can try guided meditation by finding an online class, trying an in-person one at a community center, or try it anywhere on a phone app. Another great relaxation tool is to use a gratitude journal. Using a gratitude journal when you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts can allow you to relieve some built up thoughts or stress you may be experiencing. This practice can help you to shift your mindset and reframe your thoughts. Write down things you have to look forward to, or that bring you happiness. This can help you to bring on positivity rather than sink into the gloomy thoughts your divorce may be causing you. Try a variety of these tools throughout your day to help keep tension from building up. You may find that one works better than the other for you, or a combination of them can be more impactful.
Photo from Pexels by Valeria Ushakova
5. Work On Communication
Stress can build up if you are unable to communicate in a healthy way. During the divorce process there is going to be so much on your mind that you may have doubts, questions, and strong feelings about. It’s important not to obsess over all of these doubts and thoughts too much. Be sure to communicate well with your spouse and your support team, that is what they are there for! It really can be tough to express your feelings when you feel frustrated however, be mindful of your tone and do your very best to communicate without yelling when you feel angry and stressed. Avoid deflecting issues, blaming yourself, or blaming your ex for the divorce. Blaming will not help you cope with your feelings, and it can make things more tense between yourself and your spouse. Communicating effectively and respectfully during the divorce process can help to lay the groundwork for you to process your feelings, explain your point of view, and prevent things from being bitter after the divorce.
For After Your Divorce:
1. Build Up Your Confidence
After your divorce is finalized, moving onto the next phase of your life can be nerve wracking. If you are feeling nervous about life after divorce, it’s common. Landing on your feet and creating that sense of stability in your life starts with you. Starting out single again can be intimidating and lonesome. Divorce can cause a lot of self doubt, make you question things like your abilities, your looks, and impact how you view and measure success. However, now is the time to not feel guilty, and remove the shame in divorce. Do whatever you can to block out thoughts about failure, as they are sure to bring you down. Instead, think about your wins in life, and things that you have been proud of over the years. It may surprise you when you think about them, and you will most likely realize you have not given yourself due credit when it has been well deserved. Thinking about these things will allow you to own your talents, your individuality, and who you are. It is so important to believe in yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin. Continue to celebrate what makes you, you, and it will be sure to boost your sense of self-worth, self esteem, and confidence. Believe that you can be successful starting out again, and strive to bring this mindset to everything you do!
Photo from Pexels by Andrea Piacquadio
2. Do Something Unique
Prevent divorce from knocking down your confidence and lowering your self-esteem. You may be worried about whether you have the skills and drive necessary to build your own life and future. However, know that you are more than capable of creating a beautiful and successful life for yourself. One way to get the confidence flowing and kick your self-doubt to the curb is to do something new. That does not mean you have to go sky-diving, but there are small ways to get out of your comfort zone. Embrace a unique activity. Be a go-getter, and take that backpacking trip you have always wanted to explore, or go forth and learn a new skill that can help you advance your career. Take this as an opportunity to explore, and do something you may have never thought of or had the chance to try when you were married. This can open you up to new opportunities and experiences you once thought were impossible. Trying something new can prove to yourself that you can chase after and accomplish your dreams. Doing something unexpected can help you approach situations with less fear whether it be in your personal or professional life. Last but not least, be open to taking risks, and chances, and embrace this new chapter in your life.
3. Take Things Slow
Processing your feelings and grieving is all part of the divorce process. You may find yourself from time to time missing how things used to be, and that is perfectly ok. The last thing you want to do to deal with your stress is to try to dive into a relationship in order to get over your ex, prove something to your ex, or forget your pain. Rather take things slow and ease back into the dating scene in a healthy and positive way. It’s best to let things progress naturally and give yourself some time to just focus on yourself. Taking a break can allow you to determine what you really want for yourself, your needs, and what you are truly looking for in a future relationship. Otherwise diving into the dating scene too early can just cause you more stress and confusion, and you may not be able to put the best version of yourself forward either. Instead, why not focus and set some personal goals that you want to reach, keep an open mind, and don’t force yourself to find someone new right away. Take things slow, go step by step, and start with building or working on current friendships.
4. Focus on Friendships
Feelings of doubt and uncertainty can cause you to isolate yourself during and after your divorce. The fear of another potential unsuccessful relationship, being good enough, or being liked, or what people will think about you can be detrimental to your mental health, your recovery, and being able to rebound after your divorce. You may feel the need to protect yourself by not putting yourself back out there again. However, try not to put up walls, and let your guard down. This does not mean that you have to begin seeking a new relationship or date again, but rather don’t be afraid to connect with others. You also want to make sure you are not isolating yourself. Join some social groups, volunteer for a cause you care about, get involved in your community, discover what is happening around you by tapping into your neighborhood and make new friends. Building new connections and friendships can help you to move on, build confidence, and prevent you from just staying home and thinking about unpleasant things.
Photo from Pexels by Yelena Odintsova
Knowing how to best navigate the ups and downs of divorce can be difficult. However, by having the right people by your side, and tapping into tools and resources in your community, you will be one step closer to finding your peace and happiness again. Remember getting through the divorce process is a testament to your resilience and strength. Learning these strategies to combat stress and anxiety now will provide you with a strong base and skill set that you can carry with you to help you through not just divorce, but other challenging times in your life. Knowing that you are equipped with these skills can help you to approach tough situations with strength and confidence.