Understanding the Emotional Impact and Grief of Divorce
Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster that affects every person differently. Although grieving after a divorce can feel suffocating, you do not have to go through this alone. Seeking help, learning how to cope, and understanding the various stages of grief helps the healing process.
Research shows that 42% of divorcees claim they would have sought professional help if they were more aware of the mental toll divorce had on them. Turning to a trusted professional can help ease the pain during highly emotional times like divorce.
Managing Grief and Loss
Grieving is a natural process that happens to many people after a divorce. This can be a long, challenging, and stressful journey, especially if you are trying to tackle this alone. If you or someone you know is struggling with their divorce, help them cope by using any of these methods.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
No matter the circumstances of your divorce, you are entitled to your feelings. Do not let others downplay your emotions or convince you to feel a certain way. Everything you feel after a divorce is part of the grieving process and should not be taken lightly. If you have trouble coping after your divorce, seek professional help and support groups to help alleviate stress and pain.
It is easy to let anger consume your life. Anger is not only part of the grieving process but is also a common feeling toward yourself and others after divorce. You might be mad at yourself, your partner, the situation, or the outcome. Whatever the reason, holding onto this anger prevents you from moving on.
Finding forgiveness for yourself and the situation is an essential step to healing. The time you spent with your partner is not wasted but just a different chapter in your life. Reflecting on good memories during your marriage and forgiving the bad can help you find peace in moving on.
Accept the Situation
One of the hardest steps in the grieving process is acceptance. Divorce brings many changes to your emotions, routine, schedule, and lifestyle, which is overwhelming. It is important to acknowledge that this stage is hard to process, takes time, and has no agenda.
Everyone finds acceptance in different avenues, and you should never compare yourself to others or doubt yourself for experiencing fluctuating feelings. The most important takeaway from this stage is that although you accept your divorce and the situation, there might still be notions of sadness or isolation. Working towards accepting your new reality and feelings will help start a new healthy chapter in your life.
Self-Care Strategies for Coping with Grief
Taking care of yourself after a divorce should be a top priority. Focusing on yourself can prevent rash decisions, help alleviate stress, and manage your emotions so you can start your new chapter. Blocking off a specific time and sticking to a routine to focus on yourself can help manage grief during and after a divorce.
Here are some self-care activities that we have found helpful when trying to cope with divorce:
Remodel Your Space
Spending time in your house can be very triggering and emotional after a divorce. Different rooms in your home can bring up numerous memories, making it even harder to move on.
After a divorce, we recommend doing a little interior remodel. Whether it be painting the walls, rearranging your furniture, or adding in a few new decorations, having a fresh space will help you to start making new memories. This project can be as little or big as you want, give you something positive to focus on, and can incorporate your friends and family.
Not only is exercising good for your physical health, but it also helps with your mental health. According to research, when you exercise, your brain releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that boost your mood.
Any movement counts – you can participate in many activities, such as yoga, walking your dog, playing outside with your children, or joining a workout class. You do not have to spend this time alone; having a friend by your side can help make this experience even more enjoyable.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
Divorce can feel very isolating, especially if you are readjusting to living by yourself again. Connecting with friends and family gets your mind off things and creates a healthy support system.
Here are fun activities to do with friends:
- Wine and dining,
- See a movie,
- Go window shopping,
- Get your nails done,
- Go golfing,
- Visit a local coffee shop,
- Take a friends trip.
Whether you invite a friend over for dinner or go out, your friends and family will want to help you during this time.
Seeking Support from Others
Although focusing on self-care helps cope with grief, it is important to realize and acknowledge when you need professional help. There is no shame in seeking guidance from others. We encourage you to find a trusted mental health professional that can help you heal through the grieving process. Support groups are also a great option for people looking for something less intimate.
Reaching out to a divorce counselor or friend builds empathy, support, and understanding during such a difficult time. Here are some tips on how to communicate effectively while someone is grieving:
- This is not your journey; do not invalidate the other person’s feelings.
- There is no set timeline, so let the person work out their grief.
- Love and support the person throughout this time.
- Do not overstep and ask before acting or deciding.
Navigating Grief During Divorce: Finding Hope and Healing
Although coping with grief after a divorce is a long and emotional journey, you do not have to go through it alone. Incorporating self-care activities into your daily routine brings happiness and self-worth into your life and can help you heal.
If you want professional help, do not hesitate to contact a trusted divorce counselor or therapist. Kristen has the knowledge and tools to help you through any emotional stage during your divorce. Contact Strieker Law today to set up a divorce counseling appointment.