It’s taken as a given that our lives are getting more and more stressful by the day. In all honesty, it’s not hard to see why: we’re busier than we’ve ever been, the cost of living keeps rising and we’re frequently bombarded with conflicting information.
With modern life being so stressful and divorce being one of the most taxing things that we can experience, the need to destress and take care of yourself during this difficult period cannot be overstated. Failing to do so is likely to have significant and adverse long-term effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing.
Here are five things you should do to make your divorce less stressful:
- Stick to email
As you’re probably going to need to communicate with your spouse at some point, it’s best you do it via a medium you can easily step away from if you feel yourself starting to get angry. That’s why we recommend communicating via email until your divorce is finalised and you’re both feeling a bit calmer.
‘But text messages are easier’ you may argue and, you’d be right – but that’s the problem. As your phone is omnipresent, it’s all too easy to give in to temptation/frustration/anger and send an inflammatory message. Now, we know that you can probably send an email from your phone but the lengthier nature of these messages, coupled with the fact you’ll need to do that little bit more to send them, means you’re much more likely to come to your senses before hitting ‘send’.
- Allow yourself to feel how you feel
In my experience, it’s divorcees that actively fight the inevitable negative feelings that do themselves the most psychological damage. Battling against emotions that are completely natural is going to do little more than make the process of divorce harder and, ultimately, leave you feeling guilty for feeling the way you do. This, in turn, will create a very unpleasant and damaging cyclical process.
If you feel sad, angry or anything else, you have every right to – just let it be.
- Take advice with a pinch of salt
Sometimes, the advice you’ll receive from friends and family will be excellent, but sometimes it’ll be counter-productive, overly emotional and, well, just bad.
Sadly, all of the people who are close to you will be well-intentioned, but they’ll also often provide advice and insist you should follow a course of action without having really considered the potential consequences. Just think about that for a second and I’m sure you’ll be able to think of a time you did something similar; like when you were speaking to that friend who was considering resigning to setup a restaurant, for example. We often tend to tell our friends what we think they want to hear rather than what we actually believe to the best course of action and forgetting this can lead you to make bad decisions which could make your divorce very stressful indeed.
- Be aware of your needs
This can be a tough one as, often, we’re wholly unaware of what our needs are at any given time. That said, when we feel upset, stressed, anxious or any of the other negative emotions that come bundled up with a divorce, it’s worth taking a moment to see if we can determine what we need at that time.
It could be some company, your favourite meal or anything – if you’re unsure of what you need, don’t worry, just be kind to yourself and give yourself the time you need to work it out.
This is certainly the most conventional piece of advice on this list, but it’s also undoubtedly the most effective. When we feel stressed our boy releases the stress hormone cortisol and it remains in our bodies promoting negative feelings until we burn it off through physical exertion.
So, by regularly partaking in exercise, you’ll not only help your self-esteem, but will go a long way towards averting the negative emotions brought on by a divorce, too!
Jay Williams has worked with divorcing individuals for more than a decade with Quickie Divorce, one of the UK’s largest providers of online divorce solutions. He lives in Cardiff with his wife and two-year-old daughter Eirys.