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Maintaining Good Mental Health During Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on May 20, 2023

Divorce can be a difficult experience for everyone concerned. No matter the factors leading up to a divorce, it still means the death of a marriage. It can cause emotional pain and deep psychological distress that may prevent you from moving forward. For these reasons, it is critical to prioritize your mental health when you are going through a divorce.

The Emotional Toll of Divorce

Divorce is a life crisis that can turn your world upside down. It can make you feel confused and anxious about the future. Regardless of your reasons for divorcing, you may feel angry, sad, frustrated, or tired. Divorce can have long-term effects on adults as well as children. You may suffer emotional symptoms for a year or two, and it could take that long to adjust to your new life after the divorce is over.

Strategies for Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Divorce

It is important to care of yourself emotionally and mentally while you are going through a divorce. The following are some strategies to help you do that:

  • Give yourself a chance to regroup and heal: After the upheaval of divorce, take some time to relax and reflect on the new direction your life is taking. Envision what you want your future to be like. Set new goals and make new plans. Divorce can be an ordeal, and you may need time to heal and re-energize.
  • Don’t try to go it alone: Everyone needs some help from time to time. Talk about what you are going through with someone who is a good listener. Accept the support of family and friends. Share meals, go on outings, and stay connected with people who care about you.
  • Take good care of yourself: Staying physically healthy will benefit your emotional health. Take time to get some exercise and fresh air. Eat well and get plenty of sleep. Do not use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the trauma of divorce – that will only lead to more problems.
  • Be positive: Find new activities and friends. Pursue your interests and take time for the things you enjoy doing apart from your spouse or ex. Join classes, go dancing, get involved in sports, volunteer, or invest time in your favorite hobbies.
  • Avoid confrontations with your spouse: Conversations can get heated during or after a divorce. Try to avoid arguments by listening and communicating calmly. If a conversation is heading in the direction of a yelling match, calmly state that it would be best to talk later and hang up the phone or walk away.

Benefits of Prioritizing Mental Health During a Chicago Divorce

Research has shown that divorced people are more likely to suffer from long-term health problems. One study found that the mortality rate is nearly 250% greater for divorced men than for married men. This may be due in part to a lack of emotional support after divorce. Women have an increased risk of heart attack after divorce, and that risk increases with a second divorce. This may be due to financial problems as a chronic stressor.

Prioritizing your mental health and seeking support from friends and family can help reduce stress levels significantly. Taking up new hobbies, continuing your education, developing your career, finding new friends and traditions, and otherwise developing your sense of self can help counteract the negative effects of divorce.

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we are skilled at what we do. Our Chicago divorce attorneys can guide you through the process and help make divorce less stressful. Call us at (312) 332-2915 if you are facing divorce in the Chicago area.

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