Coping with Divorce – Make your wellbeing a priority
- February 7, 2018
- Jennifer Hetherington
- No comments
Coping with Divorce – Guest blog post by Natalee Hudson
Coping with divorce can be hard. Divorce is one of the most stressful, frightening and emotionally charged times in anyone’s life. The decision to end your marriage is not a decision made lightly. Whether you were the one to decide, your partner was or it was mutual, with that comes a range of emotions that come flooding in on top of you in such a force and in such a rush it can become overwhelming, exceptionally painful and confusing.
Some of the feelings you may experience are shock, sadness, anger, overwhelm, guilt, shame, rejection, fear and maybe even jealousy. All these and more are all part of the grieving process and the adjustment to the changes that are happening.
You may find yourself frozen with the range of emotions and the enormity of things that need to be done and thought of. You also won’t have just your own feelings to be looked after but also the feeling of your children if you have any and you may find yourself having to also deal with the feelings others such as family members, in laws and friends and may find yourself caught up in what they are also experiencing.
The number one priority is for you to look after yourself! And that is all aspects of yourself. You won’t be able to deal with everything that is happening and will happen in the future if your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing deteriorates.
Emotions during your divorce
Remember the feelings and emotions that you are experiencing are all normal and they need to be felt and expressed in order for you to be able to move forward and to move forward stronger and healed.
Your feelings and emotions shouldn’t be suppressed, nor should they be able to control your life indefinitely. In order to be able to process and move forward, feeling those emotions and feelings should be a priority and having the right supports are very important to supporting you through the healing process and coping with divorce.
Ways to do this are to let yourself cry when you need to cry, feel the anger when it arises and don’t feel ashamed you are feeling it. Speaking with a trusted friend or family member who you know is understanding, empathetic and supportive of you will be an important part of being able to express yourself.
Journaling is also a good way to not only get those feelings out and acknowledge them but also a way to explore them. If writing is too difficult or the emotions still very strong, a video diary is really effective. You can speak like you are talking to a friend and the words can flow freely and you will be able to work through the emotions and feelings as you are talking. Then if you’re not comfortable keeping it you can delete it.
Seeking support from a qualified counsellor is another way to help you when coping with divorce. Having someone not involved and is impartial can be a great relief in being able to explore your feelings to as much or as little as you want to. This summary of the 5 best ways to deal with anxiety during divorce may also help.
If your children have special needs, their anxiety can also increase during divorce. Strategies on how to help your child with autism may assist you to manage their anxiety when they are coping with divorce.
Physical Health during your divorce
During times of great stress and emotional distress a number of physical things may become disrupted. You may find that you will have trouble sleeping or won’t be able to sleep. You may lose your appetite. You may get sick more easily than usual and you may be more impatient. You may find that your memory could be affected, you have trouble thinking, solving simple problems and you may cry more easily.
Your physical health will have a big impact on how well you are coping with divorce and are able to deal with the situation and your feelings resulting from the separation. If you are run down, not sleeping, eating healthily and looking after your health, you will have greater difficulty being able to deal with not only the emotions that you are feeling, but also what needs to be done during the divorce.
Try to make sure you get enough rest and sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. If you are finding it hard to turn your thoughts off at night then try some meditation, journaling or call a friend or close family member who you know you can confide in. This could also be a good time to use your video diary. YouTube has some great guided meditations that are free to access and these are wonderful to listen to as you are falling asleep.
If you are having trouble sleeping, here are 8 tips to get a good night’s sleep.
Make sure you continue to eat regular healthy meals. And make it a priority to do some regular exercise. Even if you just go for a walk each day. It will help you to relax, will help you feel physically healthy and is a great stress relief.
Meditation is a great tool to bring into your day on a regular bases. As little as five minutes a day can have huge positive effect on not only your emotional and mental health but also your physical health. It can help reduce stress, over-thinking, anxiety and relieving symptoms of depression. Some wonderful places to access free meditations are YouTube, Smiling Minds or Head Space apps or join a local meditation class. There are also come meditation teachers who hold meditation classes online for those who aren’t able to attend classes in person. I have two programs that I run on a term to term basis that are held online. The first is a weekly meditation program which goes for an hour and the second is a stress management program called Kick Stress To The Kerb, that runs for 6 weeks and is focused on implementing tools to help you manage the stress in you are going through and put together manageable plan that you can do regularly to help with managing it on an ongoing basis. You can read more about these programs and my other services here
Coping with divorce and recovering takes time
Remember there is no time frame to the grieving process. Be kind to yourself, work through and process these strong emotions so they don’t consume you and you are able to rebuild your life into one that fulfils you and brings you contentment. There is no shame to admit you are not coping with divorce and to ask for help.
About Natalee Hudson
Natalee Hudson is a life coach and mediation and mindfulness teacher. She has worked for many years supporting people with making positive changes to their lives. Her passion is working with women who want to rediscover who they are and build a life that is fulfilling. She works with women who are coping with divorce, going through or have gone through life changing events and want to bring balance back into their life, rediscover who they are and want support in moving forward. You can get in touch via her website.