Stress not only impacts your mental health, causing anxiety and depression, but it also damages your physical well-being, resulting in high blood pressure, insomnia and reduced effectiveness of the immune system. There is no doubt that going through a divorce is one of the biggest life stressors one can experience, but there are some ways to make it more manageable:
1. Learn to Deal with Divorce
Divorce signals a closing chapter in your life. However, you are now in control of the new story you would like to create moving forward. Acknowledging that divorce is a time of emotional pain and significant change will help you work through the emotional roller-coaster you may feel trapped on. During this stage, it may be very helpful to seek counselling from a trained professional, such as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) to learn coping strategies that will help you navigate the feelings of pain and loss. You can quickly find contact information for MFTs practicing in the Fort Collins and Northern Colorado region by visiting the AAMFT online directory.
2. Be Prepared to Work
Getting a divorce takes time and effort. There will be legal and financial paperwork to compile and complete, documents to create, review and agree upon, and you may need to prepare for court hearings and depositions. Making a list of all your individual personal property and agreeing to how joint possessions will be divided is ideal for avoiding disagreements and stress. In addition, during the time you going through the divorce, you may want to consider closing your social media accounts in order to avoid any negative gossip or inflammatory messages or photographs. If maintaining your social media accounts is something you want to do, be sure to change all of your passwords and make sure your privacy settings are the most restrictive.
3. Follow The Golden Rule
It might be hard at times, but try your best to treat your soon-to-be former spouse as you would want to be treated. When both of you can be honest and work together, despite your differences, you’ll experience considerably less stress and your divorce will be finalized faster and cost less money. When tempers flare and you’d like to lash out with an angry comment or retaliatory demand, remember your true interests and long-term goals. Don’t lose sight of the big picture by getting wrapped up in the small issues.
4. Put Your Children First
When you have children, divorce doesn’t put an end to communicating with your former spouse. Throughout the rest of your lives, you may need to occasionally be in the same room together for the sake of your child. Because of this, it’s essential to try to be as amicable as possible, and to find ways to successfully manage seeing one another. During the divorce process, both of you need to agree upon how your family life will evolve with two separate households. When these discussions become difficult, remember to put the well-being of your children first and avoid situations where children feel trapped between their two parents. If you’re looking for additional support in this area, consider joining a divorce support group such as DivorceCare. They offer meetings in Fort Collins and throughout the Northern Colorado region: http://www.divorcecare.org/ where you can talk with other divorced parents about their strategies for effectively dealing with children during the divorce process.
5. Focus On Your Independence
Divorce marks the end of operating as a couple and you will need to undertake new responsibilities in order to be fully independent. Make the time to open your own individual bank accounts and apply for credit cards in your name, however if your divorce is still pending, make sure to talk to your attorney before closing or making any changes to current accounts. Update all bills, personal records, and identification with your new contact information and any name changes. Filling out and processing the various forms to update this information can be extremely stressful, but maintain your focus on the steps necessary for creating a new life, new environment, and new independence.
It Gets Better
Getting a divorce is rarely a friendly or easy experience. Both sides are often hurt and struggling to cope with the end of their relationship, as well as the comforts of home, security, and shared intimacy. Know that in time, it gets better and you will emerge from feelings of pain, grief and anger into a period of acceptance and making peace with the past. By using strategies to deal with the stress caused by divorce, both individuals can find a way to navigate the process and end up with the best possible outcome.