Divorce is rarely easy on anyone, and even amicable ones can have an element of sadness, regret, and loss. Most people don’t see it coming, which is why coping with this event can be so hard. Here are a few tricks to help you get through this trying time.
1. Find a Therapist
Many modern health insurance policies cover mental health, so finding and seeing a therapist shouldn’t be too expensive. Visiting with someone who is exclusively there for you and your problems can do wonders. A counselor can help you work through your emotions or give you tools to prevent you from falling into bad habits, such as isolating yourself. They are even more useful as a sounding board for your grief, as your friends and family may not fully understand what you’re going through.
2. Keep in Touch
One of the worst things you can do is keep to yourself. While you may need alone time every once in a while to grieve privately, you should also take the time to talk to friends, visit family, or meet new people. Dating might be out of the question, but taking up a new hobby can introduce you to new and exciting individuals, some of whom may be going through a divorce as well. Other people give you a different perspective on life, which you may need if you can only see through a lens of depression or anger.
3. Feel Things
It’s okay to feel (sad, angry, scared, helpless) during a divorce. While friends may tell you to “get back on the horse,” you shouldn’t be under pressure to give up your emotions. If you feel like crying, cry (pull over first, if you’re driving). According to a scientific study, crying not only gets rid of toxins in the body but it releases endorphins as well. Your body is good at taking care of itself, which is why people usually cry when they’re down. Even if your marriage was unhappy, it’s okay to feel sad that it’s over.
4. Get Organized
Divorce can take a long time to finalize, which is why being organized now will save you time later. Collect any important documentation you need, such as tax papers, the marriage certificate, photographs with your children, property sales forms, and so on. Your divorce attorney may ask for this later, so accumulating it now will keep you busy.
5. Look at Your Finances
Divorce is expensive, both during and after the process. While before you were splitting the bills with your spouse, you will have to make do with only your own income moving forward. Make a budget for your new life, particularly if you think you will get physical custody of your children. While your ex might be providing you alimony or child support, budget around it just in case the judge doesn’t rule in your favor.
6. Find a Great Lawyer
A divorce attorney is experienced in helping people through important steps. While they’re not psychologists, they can make it easier on you by explaining how the proceedings are likely to go before they happen. Your lawyer can also help you get organized by telling you what documents the court will likely need.
7. Don’t Give Up Your Interests
If you and your spouse used to share a mutual interest, don’t give it up. Chances are, your interests helped you relieve stress and provided joy. If you and your spouse bowled together, go to a different bowling alley. Maybe join a bowling team. Create new memories that aren’t associated with your spouse.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Treat yourself as if you would treat a good friend. Eat healthily. Go on walks. Get a good night’s sleep. Take a long bubble bath. Have a glass of wine. It’s okay to eat a slice of chocolate cake, as long as you’re eating a healthy meal beforehand. Getting exercise is also a good way to release endorphins naturally, so if you can’t stand running, dance to your favorite album, play with a puppy, or go to a kickboxing class.
9. Limit Contact with Your Ex
If talking to your spouse causes you emotional stress, do it as little as possible. Only speak to your ex when you need to, such as when scheduling child visitation or negotiation dates. For all other purposes, your ex can talk to your lawyer or in the presence of your attorney. You don’t owe your spouse extended conversations about the divorce, particularly if your discussions always end in fighting. Save yourself the anxiety.
10. Stay Off Social Media
This step is especially important if you and your spouse are connected on social media. Prevent yourself from posting nasty messages about your ex. While it may feel good temporarily, your spouse’s lawyer could use it against you in court. It will also keep you from spending too much time looking at old pictures and lamenting your change in circumstance. Mourning is understandable, but torturing yourself by following your ex’s status updates won’t do you any favors.
Remember the old adage “this too shall pass” when your divorce begins to feel overwhelming. The process won’t last forever, and though it may not feel like it now, you will heal. If you’re ready to discuss your situation with a legal advisor, talk to one of our Austin divorce attorneys. Call us at (512) 342-9933 or fill out our online form today. Let us help you through this.