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How can you manage stress during a divorce?

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events one person can face, along with losing a loved one or moving to a new place. 

Learning how to manage negative feelings is a valuable skill for your own mental health, and keeping a few simple concepts in mind is one way to do that. 

Keep a regular schedule

When dealing with a long term personal issue, your daily structure and habits or routines may start to fall apart. Making sure to get regular exercise, along with eating and sleeping well, can help you avoid unnecessary stress. Take time to walk outside or go to the gym every few days if possible, and aim for about eight hours of sleep each night. 

Accept uncertainty

One of the biggest stressors in this situation comes from your own lack of knowledge about the future, whether that is financial problems or trouble with your ex-spouse or children. In order to reduce stress, you must accept that you cannot plan for what comes next. Do not dwell on negative possibilities, but pay attention to each individual issue as it occurs. 

Resist lashing out

You may feel angry at how events played out during the divorce process, but it is important to think before speaking. Avoid making decisions in the heat of the moment, such as sending infuriated messages or texts to your ex-spouse. Instead, channel those feelings into a safe and creative outlet, like painting or journaling your emotions. 

Discuss your problems

Divorce often brings up intense and confusing emotions, especially among couples who were together for many years. Talking with people close to you that you trust is one way to combat feelings of loneliness. Therapy is another outlet if you need a more structured environment in order to talk about your emotions.