Even in the best of circumstances divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful. Taking good care of yourself both physically and mentally can help you cope in a positive manner and make this time of transition easier for everyone involved. Seeking help through divorce counseling can facilitate constructive communication and make your parting more amicable. These tips for staying grounded can also protect your mental health and help you keep a positive outlook.
Divorce often brings up a lot of powerful emotions, including anger, sadness, guilt, and fear. It’s natural to think about past grievances but letting these feelings or issues muddy negotiations isn’t productive for anyone. A great way to release some of these emotions is to put them down on paper. Writing your feelings down in a journal or composing (an unsent) letter to your spouse can be freeing and allow you to let go of pent-up emotions. Spending time talking with friends or a therapist you trust can also be cathartic.
Meditation, yoga and breath work can help you feel happier, calmer and more prepared to cope with whatever comes your way. Scientific studies have shown that taking even a few deep, conscious breaths can calm your nervous system and help you feel more grounded. When you feel stressed, anxious or reactive, place your hand on your belly, close your eyes, and take three or more deep breaths. Make sure to breathe as deeply as you can, so your hand rises when you inhale. Most people tend to breathe shallowly when stressed – slow, steady inhalations and exhalations can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Whether you hit the gym for a vigorous workout or take a brisk stroll around the park with your dog, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can help decrease anxiety and depression. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins and lowers production of the stress hormone cortisol. Regular exercise can also help improve sleep and overall physical and emotional well-being.
Eating a healthy diet, pampering yourself and doing the things you love can give your self-esteem a boost and make you feel more content. It can be tempting to use alcohol or drugs to relieve the pain you may be feeling, but revisiting an old hobby, taking a bath, watching a funny movie, or getting a massage instead can release tension and help you relax in a more positive way.
During a divorce, some major issues need to be hashed out, especially if you have children. Arguing about every little thing that arises will leave you exhausted. Think proactively and write down a list of potential points of contention and how you are willing to compromise. Take stock of your core values and decide which issues are most important to you. Get creative about compromise and understand that give-and-take benefits everyone in the long run.
It’s vital to remember that whatever you’re feeling is part of the human experience – most people cry, feel sad or experience strong feelings of anger when going through a divorce. Seeking individual therapy, family therapy or divorce counseling can enable you to cope with your emotions, communicate more productively, and help you process the loss or grief you may be feeling.
Whether you’re dealing with a contentious divorce or need help keeping yourself on track during the process, divorce counseling with a therapist at Kayenta can help. Contact a therapist today to schedule an in-person or teletherapy appointment.