Is Managing Your Mental Health During Separation And Divorce Easy?

We advise you to look after your emotional well-being for this Mental Health Awareness Week if you face a terrible situation or are going through a divorce or a separation.

Managing mental health during divorce

When someone suffers from separation or divorce, they grieve in 5 stages.

Stage 1: Shock and Denial 

You might refuse to admit that something has happened or is happening.

Stage 2: Anger 

Anger can appear in a variety of forms. You might be angry at your own self, your partner, another person, or the world.

Stage 3: Negotiation

You could try to reach an agreement with each other to reconcile or improve your relationship.

Stage 4: Sadness or depression

You may experience sadness, regret, fear, and apprehension. These feelings indicate that you have begun to accept the situation. You may become quieter, more withdrawn, or frequently cry and refuse to interact socially with friends or family. You might also experience difficulty sleeping, a loss of appetite, or other physical symptoms.

Stage 5: Acceptance 

You are likely to have accepted your situation and are making plans to move forward.

It can be comforting to know that your feelings are entirely normal. The five stages do not represent an exhaustive list of all possible emotions, and they can occur in any order. Be aware that your ex, or even your children, may go through these stages differently than you.

Consider how you’re feeling-

Taking time to reflect on how you’re really feeling and prioritizing your health can help you cope with the pressures of divorce and allow you to move on more quickly. Understanding how you’re feeling will also help you consider how you’re acting toward your ex or children and the emotions driving your decisions.

Being under pressure is an extremely normal part of life, but that pressure may escalate into stress during a separation because your everyday life has changed. If your stress levels become too high, you may become irritable, impatient, anxious, fearful, lonely, or depressed. You may find your mind is racing and unable to switch off; you may be tired, uninterested in life, concerned about your health, or, in the worst-case scenario, suicidal thoughts.

What kind of person are you?

Stress can manifest itself into various ways, including difficulty making decisions, eating too much or too little, constant worry, snapping at people,   inability to concentrate, smoking or drinking more than usual, restlessness, or tearfulness/crying.

How do you manage your stress?

1. Recognize your triggers- Finding out what makes you feel confident will help you predict when you’ll be most stressed and look for ways to relieve the stress. This could include both practical solutions and mindfulness. For example, you might find that making lists or setting realistic goals each day helps you feel more in control or that changing your routine helps.

2. Create a support system- Make an effort to socialize with your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to let go of people who negatively affect your life. Inform your line manager or HR manager at work about your situation.

3. Take care of your physical and mental well-being- Consider making some changes to your lifestyle and expanding your interests and hobbies. Exercise regularly,  get enough sleep and eat well. Allow yourself time to unwind and rest.

Our best advice to anyone going through a divorce is to not go through it alone. Reach out to your friends and family for support, or seek counseling or mental health support from an organization. Getting legal advice from a family lawyer can also help you better understand your options and prepare for the following beautiful stages of your life.

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