Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult situations you ever have to face, especially when children are involved. It’s important to find ways to cope as you transition, and acknowledging your feelings and those of your children can make it easier. Here are four tips to help you as you adjust to life after divorce.
Talk About It
Try not to isolate yourself, since too much alone time can raise your stress levels and make it more difficult to process. Having a tribe of people around you who love you and support you unconditionally is essential to surviving your divorce. You might find you have family members or friends who fulfill different roles when expressing what you’re going through. For example, a friend who you can vent to about everything you are feeling. And just as important, someone you can go to who knows that you want to talk about everything except your divorce.
If it is too hard to speak to family and friends, or you need more help processing your feelings, consider joining a support group or speaking to a therapist.
Invest in Yourself
Self-care is vital for coping with divorce, and it is easy to neglect yourself. Even doing one thing for yourself each day can make a huge difference. That may mean making time to exercise or going for a walk, taking up a new hobby, going to a movie, reading a book, or maybe just taking 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee. Anything that makes you happy and gives you a break. Stay as healthy as possible, and try to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.
Also avoid making any big decisions right away. Try to wait until the emotional and physical strain of your divorce calms down before you, for example, decide to move across the country or quit your job.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask family or friends for help. Keeping up with daily and weekly routines can be difficult at first, after separating from your spouse. Especially if you have become a single parent overnight. Have patience with yourself, and ask if you need someone to watch or pick up the kids, shop for groceries, help with laundry, or dog sit while you travel for work, etc.
Cooperate with Your Lawyer
Provide your divorce attorney with as much information as they ask for and in a timely manner. Don’t withhold anything you think is unimportant or irrelevant. By failing to share that information, you can unintentionally derail your attorney’s negotiating strategy or further complicate your divorce. Details that are left out can later be learned about from your spouse and their attorney instead.
Be sure to attend any and all meetings or legal proceedings, such as a deposition or mediation. And it might go without saying, but just in case, never ask your lawyer to do anything illegal or unethical.
Cooperating with and being honest are the best ways you can help your attorney prepare, and successfully guide you through the divorce process.