How to Deal With Divorce: A Therapist’s Guide to Coping

How to Deal With Divorce

Divorce can turn your world completely upside-down, and you might feel like your life will never be the same. Dealing with a divorce can be very hard and traumatic. This is why it’s important to remember that you will get through this tough situation.

Having that in mind, if you are going through a divorce, and you have been wondering what you can do to cope with the situation, don’t worry! Here we have some tips and recommendations, so you have a smooth and healthy transition towards a better you. Keep reading!

How to Cope With a Stressful Divorce

How to Cope With a Stressful Divorce

1. Don’t blame yourself

Divorce involves two people, not one. The two of you were responsible for loving and taking care of each other. But the two of you were also responsible for not becoming what you thought you could to come to be together. You might feel like you are the one reason you’re getting a divorce, but you mustn’t take all the blame for it. You must understand that feeling guilty for the whole situation is natural.

So the first step? Forgive yourself. Even though it might not look like the easiest thing to do right now, it can be a beautiful and healing experience for you, a way to cope with this situation. Accept that you made some mistakes, just like everybody has. Understand that you did what you could, that you have your own limits, and accept yourself for how you are. Would you like to read a little bit more about how you can forgive yourself after a divorce? [1]

2. Don’t fight your feelings

It’s not about going around it and trying to skip it: you have to go through it. It might sound a little bit scary when it comes to facing your thoughts and feelings.  Trust us, we know it can be very challenging and painful. Many different feelings may come and visit you: confusion, anger, pain, sadness, fear, even relief.

Try acknowledging and identifying all these feelings you have. What am I feeling exactly? Am I beating myself for feeling like this? What can I learn from this feeling? Try and sit with your own emotions and thoughts instead of suppressing them, because that only will complicate the whole situation. Let those feelings come and go. This is how you allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship.

3. Reconnect with friends and relatives

When dealing with a divorce, you don’t have to go through it alone. Reach out for friends and relatives; share your feelings and worries with them, or just ask them to keep you company in these tough times. Isolating will only lead you to feel even worse, alone, and anxious, so let them in. Let them support you and let them give you a little bit of their energy. You can even consider joining a support group with people that are going through the same situation you are in. This can be incredibly helpful, and it can facilitate the process of healing and growing.

4. Take care of yourself

In this process, you can be your own company and your own pillar. During this time of chaos, learn how to be kind to yourself. Treat your mind and body better, as you will be experiencing heavy emotions and thoughts that might drain your energy. So find some time and space for you to relax; keep your juices flowing and keep your body active; spoil yourself from time to time; and reconnect with the things you like doing, like baking or reading.

By this time, try to avoid making big decisions and changes in life plans. Your future self will thank you. Be patient with yourself; even if it feels like everything is falling apart, you are still growing.

5. Let go and learn

When dealing with a divorce, there will be things you will have to leave in the past and things that you will keep so you can learn how to grow. Step by step, let go of the feelings towards your former partner, as he or she won’t be part of your life anymore. Go easy on yourself: there will be days where you feel dull by all the feelings that are keeping you down, but there will be days where you feel radiant and capable of everything.

This is an opportunity for you to learn about new ways; about relationships, family, lifestyles, yourself. Learn to train yourself on how to let go of everything that no longer serves you from the past relationship. Welcome the new by considering the mistakes you could have made, so you can create a better life for you and your family. [2]

6. Believe it will get better

Ever heard “time heals everything”? In the beginning, you might feel a little bit confused and hopeless, and you’ll probably think you’ll never stop having that sensation. But the truth is that there’s always hope if you believe so.

You must understand that this kind of situation takes time, not only the process itself but the recovery period as well. Things may not be the same, but life continues for you. Think positively, because things can work out for you, even after hard times. Believe that you will be okay after all this, and always believe in yourself. [3]

Dealing With Divorce

7. Seek professional help

Dealing with a divorce can be traumatic for some people. It not only affects you emotionally but physically and mentally. This is why it is a good idea beginning with therapy during and even after a divorce.

Therapy will offer you a sacred space where you can tell all about what you are going through: what’s been occupying your mind, and what feelings have kept you feeling a little bit down. Talking to a therapist will give you a different perspective of the situation you are experiencing, and it will provide you with many tools on how to handle that experience. According to Dr. Emily Cook, these are some of the benefits of counseling during a divorce. [4]

When you have kids

8. Talk to them together

When communicating your children the decision you and your former partner have made, the two of you must do it together. Let your kids know it is not their fault, that it is just a decision you both think is the best. Explain to them that even though you all won’t be living together, you are still their parents. Provide as much information you can about the divorce to reduce their uncertainty.

It is crucial to make this moment as subtle as possible since divorce can lead to different negative consequences in children: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and more. It won’t be an easy process anyhow, but having both of your parents explain to you what’s going to happen can make it more comfortable at the beginning.

9. Listen to them

Not all kids react the same way. Some burst into tears, others tend to isolate and not express their feelings. Let them talk when they feel ready, and when they do, listen to them carefully.

Be prepared for all kinds of questions: Who will I live with? Will I move? Where will we spend the holidays? Understand that they might also feel vulnerable at this moment. Give them the space they need to express themselves and try to provide the information they ask for.

10. Do not make your former partner the antagonist

Even though you don’t like it now, your former partner is still a parent to your children. They are their other role model, and you should never make your children believe they are the villain of the story just because of how they made you feel in the past. The only exception would be if they were abusive or careless of them.

Also, very important: try to maintain a polite relationship with your former partner; it is not only suitable for your children but for you. If struggle or conflicts arises, always refuse to fight back.

11. Keep yourself healthy

For your kids to be well and healthy, you also need it to be. We know that in these strange times, there might be moments where you feel vulnerable; and that’s okay because you’re human.

Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Support yourself at all times, and always choose what is best for you. Develop healthy habits, and have time for yourself. This way, you will live under a roof where things run smoothly, but you will also live with a mind that has no space for any more drama or unhealthy habits.

How to cope with divorce

Self-Care Tips after Divorce

Make time each day for you

All of us should have a moment of the day for ourselves. Sometimes all we need is to watch a movie, go for a walk, cook our favorite meal, or even take a nap. Whatever you find calming and relaxing, find a space for it in your daily schedule. Also, find some time to forget about family for a moment and go visit your friends: go have a delicious meal or just have a great time chatting.

Making time each day for you will help you reduce anxiety and stress, and even low self-esteem. This is because you are taking a moment to take care of you and to actually do the things you like the most.

Stick to a routine

After a divorce, dynamics at home might change a little… or a lot. Therefore, be prepared to make changes, and welcome new dynamics that you think will suit best for you and your family. Sticking to a new routine will keep you stay focused on the things you need to get done, but it also will help you take away any harmful thoughts that are trying to ruin your day.

Wondering how you can stick to a routine? [5]

Let it all out… move!

Wondering what to do with all that rage, you might be holding up inside of you? This is an excellent opportunity to stay active. Keep your mind distracted by keeping your body moving.

Sweating the sadness away can be a great way to release stress and provide you with new energy! It doesn’t matter if you prefer swimming, yoga, or hitting the gym… just get moving! And if you don’t have any idea of what you could do, here we have some workout recommendations for you.

Explore new interests

Ending a divorce can consist of a start. And it can be a very great one for you. All you have to do is take this opportunity to rediscover not only new activities you will love or hate, but to rediscover yourself. So is it cooking? Traveling? Knitting? That’s up to you. Ask yourself what is that thing you’ve always been attracted to, but have never done before, or do some research on totally new activities.

Learning new things you like will make you see life is still worth living and that focusing on yourself can be the most fun and beautiful thing in the world.

There are many things you can do when dealing with a divorce. It won’t be an easy process, but you will get through it. You will survive the divorce and what comes after. All you need to do is believe that everything will be okay and that you are the creator of your own reality. Never stop working on yourself, and always remember that you’re not alone.

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