Experiencing the breakup of a marriage is almost like experiencing the loss of a loved one. After all, you have lost someone whether you still love that person or have been waiting for this moment for years. Regardless of how you found yourself in the midst of a divorce, this is a stressful time. You still have to divide property, and if you have children, there are issues to work out there as well. The worst thing you can do for yourself is sit and dwell on it. It’s not good for your physical or mental health.
The good news is you’ll make it through this difficult time. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help release some of the anxiety and get your mind focused on other important areas of your life.
If you’re still living in the house you shared, this can be especially difficult. There are so many reminders of your lives together and it may seem they are in every fabric and fiber of the home. Well, it’s time to get them out of there. Clean your home like the Queen of England is coming for a visit.
Get everything looking shiny and new, because that’s the life you’re entering into—shiny and new. Get professional help for areas beyond your experience. Shampoo the rugs. Get experts to perform your tile and grout cleaning. While you’re in the process, you’ll be focused on how great your new place is going to look. When you’re finished, you’ll feel like you have a fresh start.
Stay Fit or Get Fit
Nothing relieves stress like a good workout, and you need to workout hard. Don’t just go to the gym, get physical. Take a kickboxing class. Beat a punching bag like you’re beating it to a bloody pulp.
Whether you admit it or not, you’ve likely got some tension and anger built up, and you need to relieve it. You’ll probably need to relieve it on a regular basis until the divorce has passed. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’ll benefit your physical and mental health, so get after it.
Take Care of Your Mind
Find someone you can confide in. You need to release these feelings and emotions you’re experiencing. If you don’t want to release a close friend or family member, then hire a professional.
A therapist or counselor is qualified and trained to help you through this. They are there to listen to you, and they can also identify exercises to help where you are struggling. Everyone handles this type of loss differently, and a trained professional knows that and has seen it many times before.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t go it alone. This is not the time to shut the world out.
Do Something You’ve Always Wanted to Do
There’s something you’ve always wanted to do and haven’t. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar or maybe you’ve dreamed of taking a trip to Jamaica. What’s stopping you? You deserve to do something for yourself. Commit yourself to some regularly scheduled lessons with an expert, or request some time off work and book a flight.
Whatever it is you want to do, it’s going to make you smile and help you focus on something positive for a while. You deserve this when you aren’t going through a divorce, so since you didn’t take care of yourself then, it’s time to do it now.
Be Stable for Your Children
If you have children, this is not the time to start a rebound relationship or pick up alcohol. You need to be the same mom or dad you’ve always been—maybe even better. Your children need you and their other parents more than ever right now. There are some things you should never do during a divorce when you have children, and the most important one is to not talk bad about the other parent.
The children are experiencing a loss as well, and they do better when both parents continue to support the whole family. Until the children are grown, you’re stuck with this other person, and the best option for you both is to learn to be civil and for the kids, and even pretend you like each other if you don’t. Save the bad talk for the therapist or best friend. It’s okay to trash the other person, just not in front of the kids.
Divorce is hard on everyone associated with it. It’s hard on you, it’s hard on your spouse, it’s hard on your children, and it’s probably hard on any family and friends who were close to you both. As you get through this, take care of yourself, and ask for help when you need it. This is not the time to become an island, especially if you have children.