7 Ideas to Maintain Mental Health When Going Through a Divorce

7 Ideas to Maintain Mental Health When Going Through a Divorce

Divorce is rarely easy. Even when both parties are able to navigate this process in a mature and amicable way, emotions can still run high. Divorce creates a tremendous change in both family and household dynamics, and it often makes people question their self-worth. It’s not uncommon for divorcing partners to contend with anxiety, depression, and anger. The best way to keep your emotional equilibrium is by making your mental health a top priority.

1. Take a Break From Social Media

Social media can cause social stress at any age. For divorcing adults, it presents a number of dangerous challenges and temptations. Moreover, online activities can have unfathomable consequences during a divorce. When your feelings are hurt and your self-confidence is low, there’s the potential to make regrettable statements in a space where hasty words never go away.

Whether venting about your divorce, spying on your ex, or using the social media stage to decry your carefree attitude, your online activities could harm your legal outcome. When legal matters abound, your best bet is to disconnect and immerse yourself in offline activities. Within approximately three weeks of starting your social media break, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in how you feel. When it comes to avoiding embarrassing or especially injurious social media posts, you’ll thank yourself later on.

2. Revisit Your Old Hobbies

There’s no better time to pick up an old hobby than while going through a divorce. If you enjoyed painting, making music, or restoring old cars before your marriage, find ways to do these things now. Engaging in solitary, creative activities is both cathartic and restorative. In fact, creativity can be just as beneficial when it’s performed in a group setting. Consider signing up for a class, joining a community sports team, or simply visiting public spaces where people create together. Doing something simply for the enjoyment of doing it will take your mind off of your divorce and alleviate the challenging emotions that come with it.

3. Join a Support Group

Divorce is a great time to lean on your support system. Parents, siblings, and close friends can all provide listening ears and valuable insights. However, it doesn’t hurt to step out of your trusted circle to find people whose experiences are more like your own. Consider joining a support group for people going through a divorce, raising children on their own, recovering from the pain of infidelity, or simply restarting their lives. Support groups normalize and validate common emotions among divorcees. Having a safe space where you can talk about your deepest fears can prevent problems with repressed emotions and keep your pain from becoming overwhelming.

4. Try New Things

Getting a divorce is a time of letting things go. If you put your former life on hold to prioritize your role as a supportive spouse or homemaker, divorce can also be about rediscovering who you once were and reigniting your old passions. More importantly, it can be about reinventing yourself, acknowledging how you’ve grown and changed throughout the years, and giving yourself permission to try new things. Add excitement to your life and take the focus off of what you’ve lost by making a concerted effort to regularly try something new. This could be a new good, a new hobby, or a new way of dressing. Give yourself permission to be spontaneous and to explore.

5. Let Your Attorney Do the Negotiating

When divorces are especially contentious, it can be tempting to try to convince the other party to see reason. However, it’s important to remember that when clear communication, good listening skills, and mutual respect are present in a marital relationship, the likelihood of a contentious divorce greatly declines. You cannot change how the other party acts, thinks, or feels. However, you do have control over how you act, think, and feel.

When there’s no meeting in the middle ground and discussing things respectfully, it’s best to let your family law attorney do the talking. This will minimize the likelihood of heated arguments and give you a greater opportunity to focus on rebuilding your live and discovering and rediscovering your interests.

6. Value and Care for Yourself

Surprisingly, how you take care of your physical self can have just as much of an impact on your mental health as how you deal with and protect your emotions. It’s difficult to maintain peace of mind when you’re undernourished, over-caffeinated, under-slept, and downright unhealthy. As you make your mental health a top priority, make your physical health a top priority too. Strive for balanced nutrition, regular exercise, plenty of rest, and adequate social engagement. Create and maintain a solid schedule that includes adequate time for self-care.

7. Set Boundaries

Make your divorce emotionally easier by setting firm boundaries. Your ex doesn’t need the same level of access to your life that they had when they were still your spouse. It is okay to not answer or immediately return phone calls during times when you’re busy or overwhelmed. You don’t have to entertain drop-in visits and you aren’t required to let the other party vent.

You can set time aside for important conversations, or you can refer your ex to your attorney. Determine and then clearly state your boundaries concerning your privacy, your time, and physical intimacy. If need be, consider getting a mediator for divorce-related conversations. This will make these discussions less contentious and easier overall. It will also make it easier to set and maintain reasonable boundaries.

Making your mental health a top priority during divorce can completely reframe how you view your circumstances. Diligent self-care, firm boundaries, and a renewed willingness to explore can change this experience from one of loss to self-discovery.