A divorce is one of the most painful and stressful experiences a human being can go through. A divorce represents not only love lost, but also the loss of time and emotion invested in the relationship. It is important to recognize that throughout the divorce process you will likely experience a wide variety of emotions, ranging from extreme anger to even joy (believe it or not) at times. While every person deals with his or her emotions differently, and what works for some may not work for others, the following are a variety of ways that may (or may not) be helpful to you in coping emotionally with your divorce.
1. Be aware of the five stages of grief
Many people relate these stages of grief to the feelings surrounding the death of a loved one, but the emotions are equally applicable in the instance of divorce. Both represent the loss of a major relationship. At the initial stages you will likely refuse to accept the fact that your relationship has broken down, especially if you were not in favor of the divorce. However, over time, that will wear away to feelings of anger, and wondering what could have been done differently to salvage the relationship, and, eventually you will be left with the realization that you have come to terms with the situation. Keep in mind that all these feelings are normal and natural, and there is no precise order or time frame in which you will experience them. Just allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling.
2. Pick up a new (or old and forgotten) hobby. The worst thing you can do for yourself is isolating yourself from not only the people, but also the things, that you love. While you will undoubtedly have minutes or even days where you desire to lay on the couch with five seasons of your favorite TV show, make sure you don’t fall into a habit of this becoming your daily routine. The best thing for you to do is to keep your mind, and your time, occupied.
3. Get outside (or stay inside) and exercise. It is true that exercise realeases endorphins, which in turn increases your happiness. Schedule a daily walk or bike ride with a friend or family member, or if the weather is not appropriate for outdoor activities, take up yoga in your living room. You will be amazed at how it can allow you to train your mind. Keeping your body healthy is key to keeping your mind healthy.
4. Talk and cry about it. If you were badly hurt in the divorce, maybe your spouse betrayed you, it is common for your loved ones to tell you that you deserve better, and that he or she isn’t worth it. However, don’t discount your feelings. It is natural for them to have this reaction because it hurts them to see you hurt, but you’re still feeling what you’re feeling, and you’re feeling it because you invested in the relationship. Explain that to your loved ones, and then explain exactly why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. Don’t be embarrassed to shed tears; sometimes nothing helps more than a good cry.
5. Decide what it is you want for yourself in the future, but first give yourself time to just be. There is no rush in making major life choices at this point. If you have to due to the terms of the divorce, confide in others, don’t try to make these decisions on your own as you are more likely to act out of emotion than reason at this time. Remember that just because your relationship has ended, it does not mean that your life has (although it is natural to feel as though the two are one in the same). As cliché as it may sound, use the divorce as a learning experience, to learn more about yourself and who you are and what you want and do not want out of a relationship.
These are just a few of many things that you can do to move forward from your divorce. As always, the most important party here is yourself, so if none of these tips are appealing to you, think of the things you love the most, and go out and do them. Take this time to make yourself happy, and you will see that eventually you will be happy again.
Need Help with Your Long Island Divorce?
The divorce attorneys and divorce mediators at Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. have helped Long Islanders like you get through their divorce with the least stress and emotional baggage possible. If you’re looking to make your divorce as pain-free as you can, give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you to schedule your free consultation.