How to Cope With Divorce and Separation?
BY TARIQ GARDEZI
Are you going through a separation or divorce? You’re not the only one. In a single year, there were 787,251 reported divorces throughout the country.
A divorce can feel like one of the most emotional experiences in your life. Learning how to deal with divorce can help you navigate the pain, stress, and grief you’re going through.
Keep reading to discover the tips you need when dealing with divorce. In this guide, you’ll learn how to get through a divorce with a strong support system at your side.
Remember, you’re not alone. Remind yourself you can get through this difficult experience and you will.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
The first step for how to deal with divorce is to recognize what you’re feeling. It’s okay to experience conflicting emotions. You might feel sad, exhausted, angry, or confused.
You might even feel anxious about the future.
These emotions are all a normal part of the transition. It’s important to know that these reactions will fade with time.
Grief is a natural reaction to a breakup or divorce as well. After all, you’re losing:
- Companionship and shared experiences
- Support from someone you trust (emotional, social, intellectual, and financial)
- The plans, dreams, and hopes you made together
Give yourself the chance to mourn these losses. Fearing your emotions—instead of facing them head-on—can leave you feeling stuck. Remember, grieving is part of the natural healing process.
As you grieve, remember this feeling won’t last forever.
Try not to fight your emotions. Instead, identify each feeling.
It can also help to talk about how you’re feeling. If you’re not ready to talk with someone, consider writing in a journal. Finding an outlet can help you acknowledge and move beyond your grief.
Then, remind yourself that you have an end goal in mind: moving on. Try to express your feelings and feel liberated from the grief. Otherwise, you could end up dwelling on negative feelings or over-analyzing what happened.
Dwelling on the past can cause resentment. You could lose energy and find yourself unable to move forward.
Focus on the future. Remember, your grief is only temporary.
Reach Out to Others for Support
About 40 to 50% of married couples get divorced. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher than that. As you learn how to deal with divorce, it can help to remind yourself you’re not alone.
Isolating yourself during this difficult time in your life can make it more difficult.
Instead, seek support from others in order to heal.
First, consider connecting face-to-face with family members and friends you trust. Finding people who have already experienced a divorce themselves can also help. They’ll empathize with your situation and offer reassurance.
Try to meet up with friends and family regularly. Frequent contact can help you relieve your stress. You can also begin to regain balance in your life.
When reaching out for others for support, choose people wisely. Try to connect with people who have supported you in the past. Friends and family who value and energize you are important as well.
Surround yourself with positive people. Consider friends who take the time to listen to you, too.
Finding people who won’t criticize, judge, or instruct you can help you heal.
You can also join a support group or meet with a counselor. Seeking help from outside sources can help you avoid feeling judged by friends or family members. Either way, you’ll always have one place where you can feel comfortable talking about your feelings.
Take the time to meet new people, too. A networking group or special interest club can help you build new friendships. You can also volunteer, get involved in community activities, or start taking classes.
Either way, building a support group is an essential part of learning how to cope with divorce.
Take Care Of Yourself
While life after divorce can seem impossible and distant, the future is within reach. One of the first steps when building a life for yourself after a divorce is to take care of yourself.
Getting divorced is stressful, emotional, and sometimes messy. It can leave you physically and psychologically vulnerable. Before you can move on, you need to take the time to focus on yourself.
First, take a little time each day to nurture yourself.
Focus on self-healing. Make a list of all the activities that help you relax. For example:
- Spending time with friends
- Walking through nature
- Listening to music
- Taking a bubble bath
- Getting a massage
- Drinking a cup of tea
Make time for one of these activities each day.
Make sure to pay attention to what you need. In some cases, that can mean saying “no” without feeling guilty. Do what’s right for you right now.
Avoid using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope with your emotions. Instead, find healthier ways to cope. For example, you can take the time to explore new interests.
New activities can help you enjoy life in the present instead of dwelling on your past.
Acknowledge What Happened
When learning how to get through a divorce, take the time to consider what happened. While an emotional experience, you can also use this as an opportunity to learn and grow.
For example, what caused problems in the relationship? How did you maybe contribute to these problems? Did you repeat the same mistakes?
Try to remain honest with yourself. Don’t point fingers or beat yourself up for mistakes.
Instead, acknowledge what happened and make better choices in the future.
Discover Your New Normal
As you use these tips, start developing a routine. Divorce can disrupt every aspect of your life. Instead of falling into uncertainty, make a regular routine for yourself.
Your routine will help you hold onto normalcy.
Make sure to focus on making healthy choices for yourself. That can include exercising each day, portion control, and choosing healthy foods.
Don’t forget to get plenty of sleep, too!
How to Deal with Divorce: 5 Tips for Coping with the Change
Thousands of people get divorced each year. Learning how to deal with divorce can help you discover a new life full of happiness and potential. With these tips, you can build a life for yourself from a foundation of strong mental and emotional wellbeing.
Need help through the process? Explore my Mental Health Resources today for more guidance.