Going through a divorce can be very hard and exhausting both physically and emotionally, and for some, it is the most stressful event they will ever experience in their lifetime. Very often is the things we don’t know that cause the most of the stress.
Divorce related stress can come on many levels. The decision to separate and start the divorce procedure is often the first stressful hallmark and probably not the last in what can be year’s long procedure. Many people doubt themselves to torture, whether that is the right decision, and if they can adapt to the change it brings.
Once the divorce is in procedure, the outcome is very much in the hands of the professionals you hire, how cooperative your some-day-ex will be as well as how the laws are interpreted and how well the courts view your position, and this can be very scary. The only way to handle this situation is to admit to yourself that this situation is out of your hands, and in the hands of your lawyers and the judges.
Depression is very common, and can hit anyone during divorce. If you start to feel that you might be experiencing stress or depression and can’t see any good in your life, then it is vital that you do seek support sooner rather than later. Depression is often described as feeling as though “a dark cloud is over my head” accompanied with a feeling of hopelessness, constant tiredness and sleeping and neglecting everyday chores. The best thing in such situation is to admit to ourselves that we are only human and we have all had times in our lives when we struggle to cope with what life throws our way. That is why it is really important to recognize and embrace our feelings and are able to act on them. It is okay to be sad and cry as long as it helps you handle the situation better and move on. Hiding away from your emotions can lead to anxiety and stress.
There are ways that can help you manage your stress levels. Here are some suggestions to restore your personal balance.
- Forgive your spouse and move on. The only way to get on with your life is not to waste your energy trying to prove the actual truth. Reinterpret the divorce with compassion and forgiveness and let it go. You will feel lighter and revitalized.
- Be positive towards yourself. You must stop the self criticism, guilt and negative self-talk. If you this tendency, then you will continue to attract people who are critical of you as well. When you relate to yourself in a kind and loving way, then you will choose friends and a lover who mirror the same kindness. You will also have to start focusing on what is positive in your life, rather than what is wrong or missing.
- Heal the old wounds, since they always find a way to resurface again and again. These are the ones that you may have experienced in childhood: blows to self-esteem, conformity, doubts and suppression.
- Love again. You have been hurt, and being scared to open your heart again is a very common coping reaction. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. Because in your vulnerability, you will find your strength.
- Take care of your spirit and body. Take advantage of the competition in divorce and reflect it in the gym. You will end up fit and happy. You can take classes in martial arts, or in the gentler forms of yoga or t’ai chi. By this you can easily sweat the tension and restore balance and generate self-esteem. Or if you prefer alone activities, take strength training to create substance and power. The confidence you will have in your body will reflect to your spirit.
- Eat clean. When you’re going through the stress of a divorce or breakup, healthy habits easily fall by the wayside. You might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. You are what you eat, and some foods are proven to help relieve anxiety and stress. Eat food rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, as well as fruits and vegetables to help give you the vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy and thinking clearly. Drink plenty of water to feel energized. Cut back on stimulants like sugar, caffeine, processed foods and alcohol because you are already on edge.
- Get out and get some air. The sunlight will make your serotonin levels go up, and your mood will instantly lift.
- Don’t waste energy proving the world that you’re perfect. You do not have to be perfect- mother, father, employer, neighbor and saint. We have always been taught on the importance of giving help, and very little on asking and receiving help. You can ask for help and support from your closest one, and learn to say “no”.
- Get your house clean! Get rid of the things you don’t need anymore and simplify your existence. Make your living space inviting to others, so that they will want to enter your life. Your surroundings can reflect on how you will feel at home. Remove all the furniture that makes you feel depressed and which brings unpleasant memories.
- Learn how to budget and manage your finances, especially if you have not been involved in family finances – make it a priority. If your spouse was responsible for this in the past you will have to adapt and learn how to do it by yourself. It can be stressful in the beginning, and if you really don’t have a clue how to do this, you can attend financial literacy classes and get help from professionals. The best thing to remember is that there is always someone there that can help you with the things you cannot manage, and thus there is no place for worries or failure.
At the end, go out and live. Just because you are single now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go to the movies or the museum or the club. Feel confident to go alone, and you will not be judged. In fact, your loved ones will feel happy seeing you happy again.