How to Cope with Divorce Stress

Divorce is stressful. Even if it’s your decision, ending this important relationship in your life is a difficult process, with so many things to consider, decide, and manage.

The process impacts your self-esteem. Divorce may leave you questioning your identity, your future. Here are some ways to cope with emotional upheaval:

Cope with divorce
Photo by Bernard Goldbach
  • Join a support group or divorce workshop. You can find these through sites such as meetup.com or by asking local therapists. Your church or community group may offer ideas. Some people hesitate to join a group because they expect it to be depressing, but many people find comfort in speaking with those in similar situations.
  • Surround yourself with friends. They provide their own support and may offer help.
  • Give yourself a break on life. Divorce is extra weight and comes with extra tasks. You’re not going to be perfect at anything during this time.
  • Give yourself a break inside your head. It’s easy to beat yourself up or feel guilty about the situation, what happened. It’s also normal to feel anger. But hanging on to that resentment saps energy and causes more stress. Focus instead on a positive future.
  • Get organized. Purging the old stuff in your life can have a therapeutic effect, especially if those items remind you of your ex or of specific unhappy times.
  • Learn something new. Part of focusing on the positive future ahead may involve trying or learning something new. This is especially important if you are planning to change careers or re-enter the workforce after a long period away. In either case, it’s satisfying to discover a new interest, and it can lead to the rediscovery of your internal sense of self.

Be patient with yourself. Like any massive change in your life, divorce is not something you will “get over” in a few days. But you will gradually re-learn yourself and feel better in time.

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