Stress Management During Divorce
The process of getting divorced is extremely stressful for many people. They worry about their kids; they may not have enough money; they suddenly have to make major changes in their lives; they may be riding a roller coaster of anxiety, anger, grief, joy about liberating themselves from a miserable relationship, and/or guilt about what the consequences will be for their kids.
For reducing and releasing stress, all of the practices that help anyone with any kind of stress apply: yoga, meditation, tai chi, exercise, good nutrition, and getting enough sleep. Getting support from your faith community, friends, relatives, and maybe a professional therapist help. Including fun in your life helps.
Divorce has emotional aspects, financial aspects, and legal aspects. Get appropriate support for the various aspects from people qualified to help you with those aspects: friends, support groups, and/or a therapist for handling your emotions; a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst for understanding your options with regard to financial issues; and a Professional Family Mediator and an attorney for the legal issues.
Unless yours is an extreme case (e.g., currently scary domestic violence, frequent black-out alcoholism, or serious, untreated mental illness), talk with a mediator or two before you even consider an adversarial divorce process. Rushing to the side of a litigious attorney is likely to add huge amounts of stress to your life. It often leads to a very expensive and long-lasting nightmare.
Do confer with a mediation-friendly attorney about your rights and obligations. Feel free to interview a few attorneys before selecting one to advise or represent you.
Paying an attorney to advise you while you do your own negotiating with help from a family mediator is much less expensive than paying an attorney to do your negotiating for you. Paying an attorney to negotiate a settlement is much less expensive than paying an attorney to go to trial.
For some people, spending the money and letting an attorney handle the negotiations will be the less stressful approach. For others, minimizing expenses and working with a professional mediator will be the less stressful approach.
Even though you may feel very stressed for a while, there is much you can do to limit how high the stress level goes and how long it lasts as you work through the steps to getting divorced. Be fair to your ex. Be good to yourself and your kids.