Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful experiences anyone can go through. It is especially difficult when the split is acrimonious, as such divorces can often involve intense negative emotions that are both draining and overwhelming. Even those with immense inner strength may find themselves struggling to cope in such an emotionally charged situation.
If you or someone you know is going through a contentious divorce, it’s important to understand how to help manage stress during this difficult time. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to stay calm, manage your stress, and maintain your emotional balance while navigating through your divorce. By doing so, you will be better positioned to find happiness and peace during your post-divorce life.
#1. Create a Support System
Going through a contentious divorce can be an incredibly stressful experience but having a strong support system in place can make the process much easier. Having people to talk to and lean on for emotional support is so important for getting through this difficult time.
Unfortunately, many people find themselves feeling isolated during a divorce, unsure of how to navigate friendships that may have been shared with their ex and reluctant to share the news of the breakdown of their marriage with family. Many people worry that they may be judged by the people they care about, but it’s important to not let that anxiety keep you from leaning on the people and relationships that could otherwise sustain you during your divorce.
While it can be difficult to be vulnerable with other people when you're already going through so much heartache, it’s important to try your best to allow your community of friends and family the chance to support you through this difficult time. Being able to talk through your thoughts and feelings with loved ones during this transitional time will help you to process all the changes in your life and can help enable you to make better, more productive decisions as you navigate your divorce. It can be especially important to have friends to vent your feelings because doing so can help you to avoid directing your anger toward your ex and enflaming tensions that are already high.
In addition to talking with loved ones, it can be beneficial to seek out professional counseling services as well. A qualified therapist or counselor will be able to provide unbiased guidance while helping you work through any unresolved emotions so that you can rebuild your life in a positive way.
#2. Take Care of Yourself
Going through a contentious divorce can be an incredibly difficult time for anyone. It is important to manage your stress during this period by taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally.
Self-care will look different for everyone, but here are several ways to take care of yourself during a contentious divorce:
- Eat healthy, balanced meals and make sure to get enough sleep: Eating nutritious meals will give your body the energy it needs to cope with the stress of a divorce, while ensuring you get enough rest will help you stay focused and energized.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises: These are great ways to calm your mind and refocus on yourself during a contentious divorce. Practicing these activities regularly can help reduce stress levels and increase feelings of peace and stability.
- Exercise regularly: Moving your body helps to release endorphins which can lift your mood and relieve stress. Even just going for a daily walk around the block can be beneficial in helping you manage the stress that comes with a contentious divorce.
- Take breaks from social media: These platforms may remind you of your ex or bring up painful emotions related to the split. Unplugging from these sources on occasion can help you to disconnect from any negative feelings associated with being on them, giving yourself time to reset and reflect on how far you have come since the start of your divorce proceedings.
- Spend quality time doing things that make you happy: Reading a book, listening to music, taking up a hobby, or spending time with supportive friends can take your mind off of the stress of going through a contentious divorce and remind you that there is still so much in your life to enjoy and look forward to.
#3. Find Ways to Express Yourself
While divorce can be extremely painful, stressful, and draining, it can also be a period of self-discovery. While it can be hard to find the time and energy to try new things, this period of transition can also be a time to explore and express yourself in new and meaningful ways. Finding an outlet for your emotions can also help to reduce stress, provide a sense of purpose, and give you something positive to focus on during this difficult time.
Here are some ways to find healthy outlets for self-expression:
- Writing: Writing about your experiences can be therapeutic and help you make sense of your thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal or writing stories can also be a great way to relieve pent up emotions without having to discuss them with anyone else.
- Creative projects: Crafting, painting, or any other creative project that allows you to channel your energy into something productive can be very beneficial during this time. There are many online tutorials available if you’re not sure where to start.
- New hobbies: Trying a new hobby is another great way to express yourself and make the most of your free time. Take an online class, learn a new language, or pick up an instrument.
- Physical activities: Activities such as dance, sports, or martial arts are great outlets for stress and can be a great way to build physical strength alongside emotional resilience.
Finding a way to express yourself creatively can be incredibly beneficial during a contentious divorce. Creative expression helps to channel internal emotions in a healthy productive manner, allowing you to release stress and find moments of peace amidst the chaos of this difficult period in your life.
It can also provide an opportunity for self-discovery, giving you the chance to explore new hobbies or activities that will help bring joy into your life while providing purpose and direction as you rebuild after the breakup. Whether it’s writing, painting, crafting, playing music, or learning a new skill, finding ways to express yourself creatively can help provide clarity and hope during what may otherwise feel like an overwhelming time.
#4. Set Boundaries
One of the most important steps you can take to manage your stress during a divorce is to set boundaries between you and your ex that protects your mental and physical wellbeing. Boundaries can help provide clarity around what you are willing and not willing to accept from others, enabling you to prioritize your own needs while ensuring that those around you respect them as well. By creating clear and healthy boundaries, you will be better able to take better care of yourself both physically and emotionally throughout the process of the divorce.
It's important to communicate your needs clearly to establish effective boundaries. For instance, if there are any topics that need addressed but would be too emotionally charged for either party (such as child custody arrangements or financial issues), then it’s important that everyone agrees upfront how these matters should be handled so that tensions don’t escalate unnecessarily.
It's okay to set limits around the amount or type of contact you are willing to have with your ex during your divorce. In some cases, it may make sense to come to an agreement to communicate solely through your attorneys. Both of you should know what kind of contact is acceptable outside of formal meetings or hearings. This is especially important to determine if you have children together and need to coordinate their care. Establishing clear boundaries can help protect both you and your children’s emotional wellbeing.
#5. Hire an Experienced and Compassionate Divorce Attorney
Navigating a contentious divorce can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience. It is important to understand how to manage stress during this difficult time to protect your emotional wellbeing and enable you make better, more productive decisions as you navigate the process. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney who understands what you are going through and can help guide you through the legal challenges that come with such a split.
At Crossman & McNamee, LLC, our attorneys have years of experience helping clients successfully resolve their divorces in a way that meets all parties’ needs while minimizing potential conflict. Through our understanding of family law, we will provide sound advice on matters related to child custody arrangements, division of assets and debts, spousal support and alimony payments, and other issues related to your situation. We are committed to advocating for our clients’ interests throughout every stage of their divorce proceedings so that they can get back on track towards rebuilding their lives after the breakup in a positive manner.
Contact us online or call us at (937) 468-3796 for a consultation on how we can best help meet your needs during this difficult time.