There are few major life events that will wreak more havoc on one’s mental health than divorce. Divorce is another kind of loss that involves a grieving process that is unique to everyone, as every situation has different circumstances. Even couples who decide to split amicably, with little contention, will experience some level of grief as they say goodbye to one relationship dynamic and learn to adapt to a new one. Stress levels can quickly escalate, especially when the circumstances are particularly distressing or the process itself is taking place amidst other major changes, such as adjusting to life during the current virus pandemic.
Whether you are in the beginning stages of the divorce process or are nearing the finish line, research shows that ongoing stress can affect both your physical and mental health. There are numerous techniques for managing the stress that our bodies and minds undergo during a divorce, but the key is to utilize positive techniques instead of negative coping mechanisms, as managing stress in negative ways can take even more of a toll on our overall health.
A resounding opinion among family therapists is that liberating yourself from the mental prison of divorce is one of the best approaches to working through the pain in a healthy way. Letting go of negative emotions instead of bottling them up can be done in many different, constructive ways. The idea is to get your mind and body moving, instead of dwelling on your feelings. Psychology experts recommend the following to manage stress throughout the divorce process:
1. Create opportunities for laughter – Studies of all kinds, over the course of many years, show that humor is a great medicine when it comes to combating illness. Chances are the last thing you feel like doing during a divorce is laughing, but creating opportunities to laugh can help you cope in a positive way. Watch funny movies, go see a stand-up comedian at a local theater, or have a pillow fight with your kids. Write down the simple things that made you laugh when you were a kid and then surround yourself with those little joys again for a quick reminder of the lighter things in life.
2. Focus on fun activities – Take time to engage in activities you enjoy, whether it is painting, bowling, taking hikes, or playing cards or board games with your children. Focusing on hobbies that make you happy also helps to get your mind off the divorce in healthy ways. Resume your love for photography or start playing piano again. Engaging in such activities with a friend or with your children can be even more beneficial.
3. Make new routines – One of the hardest parts of moving forward in a divorce is going about your everyday life with the absence of your spouse. It can be extremely difficult to do the same things you once did with your partner, which is why experts recommend making new routines of your own. Pick a new coffee house or a new spot for ice cream and treat yourself each week. Institute a new movie night with your children, choose a new takeout restaurant to go with it, and make that new restaurant “your place”. Creating fresh routines of all kinds is a helpful tool for keeping stress in check in a healthy way.
4. Exercise more – No matter how tired we may be of hearing it, exercising really is a major stress reducer and mood lifter. If you already exercise regularly, try intensifying your current workouts, or setting new goals or challenges for yourself moving forward. Your physical and mental health will thank you.
If you are experiencing a divorce during these uncertain times, you are not alone. While stress will naturally accumulate as you navigate the end of your marriage, turning to resources for support is an effective way to reduce some of that emotional upheaval. Start by enlisting the help of a knowledgeable, seasoned Bloomingdale divorce lawyer, who is equipped to defend and protect your rights as you move forward. Our dedicated attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are ready to handle the legal aspects of your divorce so you can focus on taking care of yourself. Call us today at 630-755-6426 and ask for a personal consultation.
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