Going through a legal separation or divorce can be one of the most emotionally and financially challenging events in a person’s life. Even when a couple has agreed to an uncontested divorce, and the process goes by relatively quickly, it can be difficult to adjust after the divorce is finalized. Divorce is a significant life change that separates one life into two separate lives, so it is normal to have anxiety after going through a divorce. Dealing with anxiety can be difficult, especially as you adjust to your new normal. Knowing some tips for dealing with anxiety after a divorce can help you get through your day and feel more productive.
1. Give Yourself a Break
For many people who struggle with anxiety, thinking about anxiety can result in even more anxiety. Being angry at yourself for having anxiety could just worsen things. It is okay to give yourself a break and function and feel at a less-than-optimal level after your divorce. You may not be able to be as productive while you are on the job or care for others in a way that you are accustomed to doing so. Remember that you need time to regroup and re-energize, and you do not have to be going full force immediately after your divorce. Do not get mad at yourself for having anxiety, be kind to yourself.
2. Do Not Go Through the Post-Divorce Process Alone
It is also essential that you do not go through the post-divorce process alone. Sharing your feelings of anxiety with supportive friends and family can help you get through this challenging period. You may want to consider joining a support group, or you can talk to others who are in similar situations or struggling with anxiety. If you isolate yourself, it could make you more stressed, make it harder to work because of a loss of concentration and decrease your overall health and relationships. Do not be afraid to get outside, exercise, and engage in healthy activities with your friends and family.
3. Care for Yourself Emotionally and Physically
You may have put your divorce at the forefront of your life, but now is a good time to focus on yourself and taking care of your body. Eating healthy food, taking time to relax, and setting aside time to exercise can help you stay physically and emotionally healthy. Try not to rely on cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to cope with your anxiety. Doing so can lead to even more stress and health problems.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Conflict With Your Spouse or Former Spouse
Avoiding conflict is not always possible after a divorce. You may still need to resolve issues as you adjust to your new normal. You may have a conflict related to your parenting plan and child custody agreement that you need to address. However, try not to engage in conflict over issues that are not important. Not engaging in battle and trying to be as peaceful as possible can help you manage your anxiety better during this time.
5. Focus on Your Emotional Hearing
Getting through a divorce takes a lot of energy, time, and focus. Understandably, you may not have been putting a lot of energy into your emotional health during this process. Now is a great time to focus on your emotional healing. Most of us are not able to quickly get over major life changes without taking some time to process what is happening and how we are feeling about it. Do not expect yourself to be charging forward quickly into a new relationship or job if you are not ready. It is okay to take some time to come to terms with how you feel emotionally.
6. Take Time to Explore Interests
After you have been divorced, you will have more opportunities to explore new interests. Take some time to reconnect with activities you enjoyed apart from your spouse or that you have always wanted to try. Now is your chance if you have always wanted to try a painting class or join a sports team. Participating in activities you enjoy can also help you manage your anxiety.
7. Think Positively
Thinking positive is not as easy as it sounds. You will probably find yourself in many new situations. Things may not be the same for you, but moving forward with reasonable expectations for how you can cope will make the transition less anxiety-inducing and easier. Try to be flexible. If you have children, keeping your usual family traditions can help everyone feel a sense of calm as you move forward into your new routines. You can also create new family activities that you enjoy doing together.
8. Allow Yourself to Have Bad and Good Days
You may feel pressure to bounce back right away after getting divorced. Accept that you will have bad days and good days. If you are having a difficult day, try to use healthy coping mechanisms like healthy food, sleep, and relaxing activity. If you have good days, practice gratitude and be thankful for those good days.
9. Let Your Child Know They Can Rely on You
Going through a divorce with children can be even more anxiety-inducing. You must let your children know they can rely on you as you go through this process. Let them know that you are a stable influence in their lives, which will reduce their anxiety as they move forward.
10. Do Not Involve Children in the Conflict
Avoid talking negatively about your ex-spouse in front of your children because doing so can increase tensions between them and you. Do not use your child or children as messengers, make them take sides, or use them as spies. Taking the high ground can make the process go more smoothly for everyone involved and decrease anxiety.