Aside from the loss of a loved one, divorce is likely to be one of the most emotional experiences you, or anyone on Long Island, will experience in your life. While you may attempt to prepare for the emotional pain that comes along with a divorce, you may not be prepared for the other myriad of emotions you will experience. There may be days you wake up happy, others where you will be angry, and others full of anxiety, for apparently no reason. The better equipped you are to handle this variety of emotions, the better you will feel overall and the happier you will be with your life after your divorce. At times you may want to crawl under the covers and never come out, and while that may be okay for a few hours after a rough day, it is not a conducive coping mechanism for a complete healthy life. As a Long Island Divorce Lawyer who has worked with many of the best mental health professionals counseling my clients, I have become familiar with numerous ways people handle these stresses, and the following are a few suggestions.
Confide in a Trusted Friend or Family Member
When you were younger, nothing felt better than talking to your closet friend or a parent about something that was deeply troubling you. Even at times when you may not have wanted to speak about the issue, I would be hard pressed to say you did not feel better after opening up to someone. It’s part of being human. Getting our problems out in the open relieves our stress and often lets us see our issues from another perspective.
Regardless of whether or not a solution came of the discussion, the mere fact that someone cared and was there to listen always made things better. As we grow older and problems become more serious and private, it becomes harder to confide in people. However, that feeling of relief that comes from talking to a loved one is still the same. Pick up the phone and call your best friend or your mom. Even if they don’t say anything on the other end, you will feel better to have said the words aloud.
One of the thoughts likely running through your head as you read this is “Well, I don’t want to bother my friends every day.” As a friend myself, I know I would much rather have my friend confide in me over something that was bothering him than to know he was stressed and unhappy on a daily basis. True friends don’t want to see their friends suffer alone.
Not everyone has a solid support system or people with whom they feel comfortable sharing their most private matters. Or you may feel that your friends and family have biased opinions, or rather just give too many opinions. Or perhaps they just give advice you know is not in your best interests. Even when you have a solid support system, your friends and family are not professionals. As well-meaning as they may be, they are not trained or equipped to properly help you deal with your issues in a healthy way that will enable you to move on to a happy, successful life. In these instances, there is nothing wrong with seeking counseling to discuss your divorce. You can rest assured that everything said in a counseling session is strictly confidential and nothing can be used against you during the divorce proceedings. A therapist may also be the best person to help you with coming to terms with why you are overjoyed one day but can barely get two feet out of bed the next.
Remember the old saying “you are what you eat?” Well it’s true. More often than not during stressful times people turn to junk food for that quick “feel good” feeling: fast food, pizza, cakes, cookies, and other sweets or fried foods are the devil on your shoulder during emotional times. While these things certainly taste good, and provide a quick fix, they will not make you feel good over the long run. Everyone indulges now and again, but try to avoid letting your emotions control your otherwise healthy eating habits. You may not think this makes much of a difference, but your Long Island Divorce may last for a year or more, and after a year of fast food for every meal you will inevitably feel slow, tired, unmotivated and generally not so good about yourself.
The simple act of getting up and stepping outside can change your mood and your entire day. Find a park near your home that has a trail, or head down to the beach. Bring your dog, your iPod, a book, or your best friend and just get outside. Whether you walk for a few miles or sit under a tree, a little bit of fresh air can provide perspective and do wonders for your mind.
Spend Time with Family & Friends
We all have been there, that feeling where you would rather be alone than hold even the slightest conversation with anyone. It’s OK and we all need alone time with our thoughts, however, we can’t let it become a pattern that isolates us from the world and our support system. Humans are naturally social animals. We need interaction with other people to be healthy. Once you begin to socialize, you will naturally start to feel better. Socializing and spending time with those you care about, and who care about you, allows you to stay busy and forget, at least for the time being, all the stresses with which you are dealing. Call your friends or your siblings and plan to get together for dinner one night, or plan a weekend trip to Manhattan or another city away from home. Besides giving you something to look forward to, it will inevitably hand you a few necessary laughs.
Everyone has busy schedules, and that may make it hard to get together with your friends or family at the last minute. Therefore, it may help for you to schedule time each week for your family and friends. This way, when Friday rolls around and you need something to look forward to for the weekend you will be able to think of the Saturday night you have planned with your closest friends. You do not have to, and probably should not, spend the entire night talking about your divorce. Simply being in the presence of friends and loved ones will lift your mood and help you forget about your worries.
If your daily routine already involves exercise you are well aware of that great post-workout high. Whatever your exercise of choice, whether it be running, biking, hitting the Stairmaster, or a fitness class, you are well aware how all your other worries and cares seem to disappear while your feet are pounding the pavement or your spin instructor is yelling out commands during that hour class. Do not forget that feeling. You likely have a lot of emotions bottled up inside, and exercise is a great release for all of those negative feelings.
If you do not currently have an exercise routine, think of starting one. Join the local gym or ask your friend to start taking you along on his or her daily workouts. Exercise is not only a good way to relieve stress, but it will add to your day and ensure that you get out of the house at some point. Because as we all know, when we are upset or otherwise feeling down it’s too easy to stay in bed all day and this can just increase our feelings of depression.
Keep Yourself Occupied
I have found one of the worst things people on Long Island going through a divorce can do is to stay home and isolated with nothing to do. There is nothing wrong with needing personal time away from the world, but do not let your mind consume you. Each day will be different; give yourself 20 minutes or an hour to grieve, and then move forward with the day. Find a hobby or join an organization or club. If you live in a house or an apartment complex that permits pets, adopt a small dog or cat. The animal will not only take up a good amount of your free time, but will also relieve stress and serve as a good source of company.
Ready to Move On with Your Life? Your Long Island Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Your Long Island Divorce is not something to take lightly. The actions you take now will have far-reaching implications for you emotionally and financially. However, sometimes, it’s the only way to move on with your life. While it’s difficult in the short term, in the big picture, it’s a short period of discomfort to ensure you can lead a healthy productive life.
When you’re ready to move forward with your divorce so you can get your life back on track, give the experienced and compassionate divorce lawyers and divorce mediators at Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., PC a call at 631-923-1910. We’ll ensure you’re legally protected during your divorce and set you up for the best possible future going forward.