It can’t be denied that prolonged stress can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being, making you more vulnerable to illnesses and infections. The thing is, there is no such thing as avoiding stress if you’re going through a divorce.
Here are 11 practical tips that can help you to reduce stress during divorce.
1. Try to Be Prepared For The Divorce Process
You will have to settle nearly everything about your marriage during a divorce. This means that you will have to prepare a lot of documents and be ready for settlement hearings that you will need to sit through. If you can get a hold of financial documents, deeds, and similar documents now, do it instead of later. Doing so now will reduce the stress of waiting until the last-minute to take care of one of the most important aspects of the divorce process...documents!
2. Look for Collaborative Ways to Divorce
A divorce need not be a drama-filled affair. Some proceedings need not even see a day in court ever. Talk to your family lawyer to find out more about collaborative ways you can finalize your divorce. Mediation is always better than fighting it out in court and letting a Judge who is a stranger to you make life-altering decisions for you.
3. Don’t Do Unto Your Soon-To-Be-Ex What You Don’t Want to Be Done to You
Lying or manipulating facts can be very tempting, more so if your spouse cheated on you. You may feel that you want to drain bank accounts, channel all assets to an off-shore bank, or file false police reports. Don’t. Things like this will only create drama and when discovered, can blow-up on you. Not to mention prolong the divorce process and racked up huge divorce related expenses that will come out of your pocket. So, play nice during the divorce process!
4. Understand That Your Divorce Related Angst is Temporary
This is a big one. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and feel like you just want to run away from everything, know that this will pass. Once your divorce is final, you’ll be able to create a future that is best for you. Divorce heightens negative emotions. Although you may feel as if you're drowning, given time and patience with yourself, you will find a happy new normal.
5. Be Honest During the Divorce Process
Going through a divorce with various nefarious or hidden agendas will only make the procedure more expensive and last longer. The last thing you need is to resort to sneaking around to gain information or hiring a private investigator. If you want a clean future after the divorce, be transparent and work together towards finalizing your divorce so both you and your ex can move on.
6. Get Your Own Finances Straightened Out Before Filing For Divorce
Now would be the time to open your own bank account if you don’t have one yet. You will have to be financially independent after your divorce so start working towards that now for a smooth transition. Put together a post-divorce budget, know how much income you'll have and plan ahead so you're not faced with any financial surprises after your divorce.
7. Do What Is Right For the Kids During Divorce
Know that you will have to work with your ex if you have kids together unless there is a reason for the other party to be pushed out of the children’s lives (like domestic violence). And, the courts agree that the parent shouldn't have contact with the children. Try to be as amicable as possible when co-parenting with your ex.
8. Prioritize Safety if There is Domestic Abuse
If your spouse is prone to violence, moving away (with the children) would be the best option. If your spouse knows where you (and the children) are staying, make sure that you have an escape plan when things go south. For help with this, contact your local abuse shelter or hotline.
9. Have a Divorce Support Person or Network
Your close friends and family will be invaluable to you during your divorce. Not only will they see you through your emotional rollercoaster but will also help you get back to your feet when you’re ready. Be warned, though, you don't need "support" from friends and family who encourage you to rock the boat or cause trouble. Seek support from those who encourage your recovery and moving on to a new life.
10. Have Social Media Accounts? Keep Your Divorce Off Them
Information in your social media can be used against you. Even if your spouse is above that, the drama alone in social media can get to you. By not discussing your divorce on social media, you will save yourself from so much mental anguish. I mean, who does that anyway. Anyone with a modicum of self-respect is not going to air their dirty laundry and belittle their ex to their 1,280 followers on Facebook.
11. Accept Your Divorce
Your divorce should be the closing chapter on a marriage that is no longer working. Don’t let it be a battleground of more hurt. Focus on the future and what you could have when the divorce is over. Whether or not you wanted the divorce, acceptance, and understanding that you have no control over your spouse's choice to divorce is your first step to healing and rebuilding after the divorce is final.