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How to deal with the stress of a divorce

Whether or not the divorce was your idea, going through a divorce is difficult. Even if you are happy to be leaving a bad marriage, you may feel sad that it did not work out. If you tried to make it work, you are experiencing feelings of frustration, sorrow and maybe even anger. More than likely, you are feeling some combination of these emotions. You are also probably feeling stressed.

During a divorce, unknown factors can cause stress, like worrying about how your assets will be divided or who will get primary custody of the children. Then there are the known stressors like that one or both or you must move out of the house and that you are being forced to start over. Worrying about these concerns produces an incredible amount of stress. Here are a few ideas to help you cope with feelings of stress during a divorce.

Create a support network

Isolating yourself will only make you feel worse. You are already losing the person you shared your live with, so do not make it harder on yourself by spending all your time alone. Get out of the house and spend time with friends and family. If your family lives far away, speak to them on the phone regularly. Be honest about how you are feeling, and let them help and support you.

Allow yourself to feel how you feel

Feeling a variety of emotions is common. It is okay to feel angry, but find healthy ways to express your anger. Do not lash out at your ex because that could make things worse. Feeling sad is also to be expected. You just want to ensure your sadness does not start to overwhelm you. If you are feeling so sad you cannot do normal activities, it is time to reach out to someone like a friend, a parent or even a therapist.

Do not be too hard on yourself

Being distracted by your emotions is normal too. You may have trouble focusing at work. Try to give yourself a break, and remember it will take time to heal.

Consider participating in some type of exercise

You do not have to be a natural athlete to participate in physical activity. You could go on regular walks, go running, join yoga and even take up dancing. Try to do something that gets your body moving. Not only is this a great distraction, exercise also releases endorphins that make you feel good.

Pick up a new hobby

Maybe you always wanted to write a novel, take dancing lessons or get serious about photography. Perhaps you are interested in painting, so you decide to buy yourself a watercolor kit. Your new hobby does not have to be something expensive, so long as you give yourself a new creative outlet.

Handle each issue as it occurs

As you move through the divorce, you are going to encounter different problems. You are dividing property, deciding who will keep the house, what will happen with the kids, etc. There are bound to be some disagreements and issues that you did not anticipate. According to Psychology Today, it is better to handle each problem as it occurs, rather than letting all the issues build up. Procrastinating could lead to feelings of paralysis and increased stress. If you feel overwhelmed, stop, take a breath and give yourself a minute. Then face the issue is head-on.

A divorce is a stressful time in most people’s lives. It involves uncertainty and can feel overwhelming. If you take time to care for yourself and reach out to your support network, you should be able to get through this rough period and land safely on the other side of it.

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