Learning how to cope with and process a divorce from someone you love is a tremendous challenge. Some may agree that it is one of life’s most difficult circumstances to overcome. Currently, you might be dealing with a divorce or even a prospect of a divorce. Whatever the case, know that you should not feel ashamed for feeling a certain way about grieving. In my work as a divorce lawyer and family law attorney in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, I have witnessed clients going through a divorce benefit from the learning process around grief. Here are some things that I have observed along the way.
Take Your Time
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Also, there are several stages to the grieving process, but you do not have to go through each step in order. What may work for someone else in your situation possibly may not work for you. It is important to acknowledge your pain, hurt, confusion, and loss. Divorce can be devastating, mainly because we do not always expect it to happen, and we’re unprepared. Some may believe that processing and coping with grief requires them to attend support groups and seek therapy immediately. I think both are very important, but I also think that in addition to those things, it helps to even to take a minute to step back and process every emotion you are going through.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Studies reveal that an increase in exercise can improve our moods and release endorphins. While exercise alone cannot completely eradicate grief, it can help with coping with a divorce. Try to incorporate 3-4 days of moderate activity to your morning or evening routine. The grieving process can take a major toll on one’s mental health, and the best way to combat this is through regular exercise. Exercise can help reverse depression caused by prolonged grief – even one hour a week is beneficial for starters. Some people who have incorporated physical activity into their routine while grieving has practiced yoga, taken kickboxing classes, or walked for 20 minutes around their neighborhood.
Seek a Professional
Even if the aforementioned advice does or does not work for you, you should locate a therapist in your area (or virtually) that can assist you with coping with grief. There is nothing wrong with confiding in a licensed professional who specializes in grief. If you are experiencing long-term depression, it can lead to more serious health matters if left untreated. If you discover that your grief is unbearable, find a mental health professional soon. A therapist can help with unpacking your emotions surrounding grief and divorce. They can also help you to overcome obstacles pertaining to the grieving process.
This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.