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Managing mental health through a divorce

Mar 16, 2020 | Divorce

There are few life experiences more stressful and emotional than a divorce. Between the demands of the legal system and the countless adjustments people make, from moving to sharing child custody, the process can be overwhelming.

Because of the toll that ending a marriage can take on you, it is imperative that you take some time to assess and prioritize your mental health throughout the divorce process. Below are some suggestions to consider.

Build Your Support System

You do not need to deal with the many challenges and stresses of divorce by yourself. Build a support system to help you navigate this time. Your network might include:

  • A family law attorney to guide you through legal issues
  • A therapist to talk with about your mental health
  • An accountant or financial advisor to assist with financial adjustments
  • Friends and family members to help with emotional support as well as moving, childcare and other logistical challenges

Take Time For Yourself

While it might feel like all you think about is yourself and your needs during a divorce, you may actually be neglecting yourself outside of the context of your split.

Remember to take time for yourself as an individual — not a parent, not an ex-spouse, not a party in a lawsuit. Do things that improve your well-being, whether that involves practicing a new hobby, taking a brief trip, or just cleaning and organizing your home.

Manage Your Stress Wisely

Yes, divorce is stressful, but there are many ways to manage the stress of this situation. Rather than feel like stress is just something you need to live with, seek outlets such as:

  • Exercising
  • Focus on healthy eating
  • Spend time with people who make you feel happy
  • Get enough sleep

These measures can alleviate the pressure and anxiety you may be feeling. They can also help keep you healthy, physically and mentally.

Similarly, it can be wise to avoid unhealthy ways of managing stress. This includes:

  • Using drugs
  • Drinking too much
  • Skipping work
  • Spending time with toxic people

Not only can these decisions hurt your mental health, but they can also affect your divorce case and create even more legal challenges.

When you prioritize your mental health during a divorce, you can find it easier to make difficult decisions and adapt to new challenges.