Divorce is becoming increasingly common in the United States. In fact, between 40 and 50% of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. As a result, thousands of individuals face emotional stress and confusion every year as they go through the difficult process of ending a marriage.
After the decision to divorce has been made, many want the situation to be over as quickly as possible so that the healing process can begin. Unfortunately, divorces rarely happen overnight. The court process of separating assets and determining child custody can continue for several months. With such a long and complicated process, it’s no wonder that so many find divorce to be extremely stressful.
Though a stress-free divorce may not be possible, you can practice healthy coping mechanisms to make the process a little bit easier. If you’re going through a divorce, try any of these three stress-management tips to feel better and start healing:
1. Identify Where Your Stress is Rooted
Divorce can lead to a complete upheaval of your daily life. Take time to determine what aspect of the divorce process is causing you the most worry. Are you worried about not seeing your children, or afraid that you’ll have to relocate? By figuring out what upsets you most, you’ll be able to create an action plan for coping with your emotions and improving the situation however possible.
Often, new financial burdens heighten divorce stress. Since data from 2016 shows that the cost of living went up 30% in the previous 13 years, learning to manage a household on one income can be particularly challenging. If you determine that your stress is rooted in financial instability, start reconstructing your budget as soon as possible to feel more stable and in control.
2. Care For Your Health
In happy times, exercise and healthy eating habits are important. During stressful times like divorce, however, maintaining such habits is absolutely essential. Though exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing, taking time for even a short walk can boost your mood. Eating a balanced diet will also help you resist illness, sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, and in general feel more in control of your situation.
3. Focus On Other Kinds of Relationships
When grieving the loss of a marriage, take time to embrace other loving relationships in your life. Connecting with family and friends can help you combat loneliness and establish a support network. You can discuss the divorce if you feel like talking about it, or use your friendships to have a little fun and take your mind off the separation. Even adopting a pet can help– studies show that 74% of individuals who keep animals as companions report mental health improvements.
Divorce is never easy, but with these tips, you can find a path to healing. By taking time for self reflection, caring for your overall health, and reconnecting with others you love, you can better cope with divorce stress. Though your marriage may be at an end, your happiness doesn’t have to be.