It’s obvious that going through a divorce is stressful. In fact, the top five stressful life events include:
- death of a loved one,
- major illness or injury, or
- job loss.
When you think about it, divorce can include some, if not all of those events.
Dr. Karen Finn, www.drfinn.com, divorce and personal life coach and author of On the Road from Heartbreak to Happiness, lists the following helpful tips for managing stress in divorce:
- Deep Breathing – That sounds pretty basic, but it actually helps. When you find yourself stressing, stop what you’re doing and take three or four big, deep breaths. This clears the mind, relaxes you, and lets out some of the stress.
- Find and use a calming mantra – try the serenity prayer or statements such as “this too shall pass,” “what doesn’t kill me make me stronger,” “I’m holding it together for the kids.” Put these mantras in places where you can see them throughout the day.
- Stress is energizing (and so are worry, anxiety, and anger), so find a healthy way to express it. Exercise, garden, go for a walk/run/bike ride, clean, dance, stomp your feet, punch a pillow or punching bag, scream into a pillow, chew gum, journal about your feelings, talk it out with a trusted friend/family member/therapist/coach, cry, or whatever works for you.
- Plan for the future. This can be both scary and exciting at the same time. Try to look at the positive aspect of the situation such as moving away from the bad memories and creating new, happy memories.
- Allow yourself time and space to grieve. Allow yourself to feel grief so you can move through it and move on. If you stuff it in, it will stay and fester and ultimately make you very sick, both mentally and physically.
- Get and give more hugs. That’s self-explanatory!
- Spend time with your pet. There’s nothing better than a cuddly pet to cheer you up!
- Continue to eat healthy and drink plenty of water.
- Spend time in nature. Nature is the best healer.
By utilizing these tips for handling stress in a divorce, you can certainly help alleviate some of the huge stressors associated with going through a divorce. It certainly can’t hurt!