There’s no doubt about it: Divorce is stressful. On the Holmes-Rahe Scale of stress, divorce is just below the death of the spouse when it comes to the amount of psychological and emotional disruption it causes people – and that’s dangerous.
Stress not only affects your mental well-being, but it can also make you physically sick, so figuring out how to manage your stress as you go through a divorce is key to a healthier, happier life.
Where do you start? Here are some ideas:
Make your spouse your partner again
The odds are high that neither you nor your spouse wants to remain married. If you both want out, why not agree to “partner up” for the process and cooperate to make the ending of your marriage easier?
If you treat your divorce more like a business arrangement, you may find it easier to separate your emotional responses from the practical issues at hand. This can be particularly useful if you hope to preserve a cordial relationship with your ex for the future.
Focus on what you can control, and let go of what you cannot
You cannot make your spouse understand your point of view or even listen to reason. Refuse to get into arguments over the past – because none of that can be changed.
It’s time to turn your attention to what you can control. That includes things like:
- Getting enough exercise
- Getting enough food and sleep
- Redefining your personal goals
- Reestablishing your social circle
- Finding a support group
Self-care is one of the most important things you can do right now, and you may have lost the knack for it during your marriage.
Don’t let yourself fall prey to rash decisions or pushy behavior
Throwing up your hands and just letting your spouse have everything they want may feel like the easiest thing to do right now, but you really do need to resist the desire.
No matter how badly you want your divorce to be over, it pays to make sure that you fully understand your legal rights when it comes to property, support and custody of any children. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into an agreement you’ll later regret.