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Even for people who aren’t prone to having anxiety in everyday life, it can be anxiety-inducing to think about a new chapter as you begin the journey through divorce. Divorce will likely be stressful; we won’t deny that. But, it doesn’t have to be as miserable as you have heard, and you can take certain steps to make the best of things.
Here are some situations that may cause you anxiety when experiencing divorce, as well as some tips on how to relax and let things unfold as easily as possible.
No, we’re not talking about the disorder here. (After all, we’re not in the business of psychiatry!) But even for people who are typically easy-going, divorce can throw you for a loop. There are so many moving parts. Attorneys, expenses, children, assets, and how you’re going to tell people in the first place.
Before your head gets spinning, remember this: self-care will get you through many of the tough times. As you begin the process of divorce, really zero in on what calms you most effectively. Whether that’s restarting your favorite book series, going for a run, taking a bubble bath, or even watching lighthearted reality TV shows, taking care of yourself should be a priority. Tough times will always pass, and having a positive approach will make even the toughest times feel like something you can tackle with grace.
Telling family and friends
Before you get overwhelmed at the thought of breaking the news to people in your life, hold your horses. Getting a divorce should be looked at from the angle of fresh starts. You’re participating in a process that will allow you to turn a new page and begin a new phase. Instead of feeling like a part of you is dying, share the news with people you most trust, first. You do not have to tell everyone at once, and making sure that those you do choose to share the news with are understanding and caring confidants, is very important.
Whether your confidants are family members or even a coworker, there’s always someone in your life — and usually more than one person — who can lend advice, comfort, and hugs. Even if you feel things getting contentious during the divorce process, people who have been through divorce already can give you some tips to keep a level head and focus on the end result.
Once again, we’re not trying to be unrealistic. There can be a lot of grieving involved in a divorce, and discussing a divorce with friends and family can be very emotional. But even then, you should feel comforted knowing that supportive family and friends are there to help ease the uncertainty — not cause more anxiety.
Who will tell the kids? Will you tell them together? If you tell them separately, will you ensure that you share the same narrative? How will you and your partner handle attending sporting events, school plays, and other communal functions? Will you spend some time together for holidays and birthdays, or will everything be completely independent? Can you come to a relaxed and stress-free agreement about custody and splitting time?
All of these things can contribute to the anxiety you may face while experiencing your divorce. This is where another one of our tips comes in: lean on people in your life who have gotten divorced before for advice, talk to your lawyer for legal assistance, and talk with your therapist about how to handle all of the above.
If you’re religious
We can’t tell you how to live your life or follow a religion, but if you’ve chosen to divorce that means that you’ve already acknowledged that it’s the best route. Never feel like a failure, even when you feel compelled to, due to religious beliefs. We’ll keep it short and sweet, and once again remind you that life isn’t over, and there is plenty to be proud of when assessing your character.
You will get through this!
Don’t let the fact that you’re getting divorced consume your life. You are more than your marital status, and you should always remember your strength and purpose — even if you’re riding solo through life.
We’re not naive enough to think that all divorces will be “easy.” Of course that’s not the case! Some will be more complex than others, especially when children, significant assets, or stubborn partners are involved. But keeping a level head is first and foremost, that way you can stay calm, cool, and collected — not to mention, eventually, get excited about this next phase in your life.