Divorce and mental health problems: how to cope

Mental health and divorce

It’s said that the five most stressful situations in life are the death of a loved one, divorce, moving to a new house, illness or major injury and losing a job.

All of these can have an impact on a person’s mental health. However, divorce and mental health problems in particular are increasingly common.

If you are going through a divorce, you might be concerned about how it will affect your mental health and what you can do to cope. Whether you’re happy to be getting a divorce or heartbroken, psychologists say that the divorce process can have a huge effect on your emotional wellbeing. The question is, how do you protect your mental health?

Divorce and mental health: the symptoms

Divorce is considered the second most stressful thing a person could face in life. It’s unsurprising then that when facing a divorce, it’s not uncommon to feel a whole range of emotions. Anxiety, depression, rage, hopelessness, shame and resentment. These feelings could last for months, unless you tackle your emotions in healthy ways.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do…

One of the most common reactions to divorce is to self-isolate from friends and family, which will add to your feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, and insecurity. Now, we don’t know about you, but we’ve had enough self-isolation for one year.

While it may be difficult for you to face up to people during your divorce, it’s one of the best things you can do. Lean on friends and family for emotional support and talks things through, even if it’s to vent your frustrations.

Isolating yourself with your thoughts and feelings can lead to destructive behaviour, so be sure to confide in friends and family members that you trust.

Support for loneliness

How to cope with divorce and mental health wellbeing

There are a variety of ways you can cope with divorce and mental health wellbeing. According to psychologists, keeping your mind and body busy are fundamental to coping with divorce and protecting your mental health.

Exercise is a great way to keep mind and body active, while helping you to manage feelings of stress, anxiety and anger. Exercising releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone, which is exactly what you need when going through a divorce.

It’s also important to get enough sleep. Staying up late worrying about your divorce will only add to your stress and anxiety. You should seek medical advice if you are struggling to sleep or cope with feelings of depression.

Starting a hobby or taking a short holiday are also encouraged. Finding something that you enjoy on a regular basis can help distract the mind by giving you something different to focus on. Meanwhile, a holiday gives you a change of scene and will help with the healing process, enabling you to return home refreshed and with a more positive outlook.

Painting helps with your mental health

Find out more about exercise and your wellbeing

Don’t do divorce alone

The most important thing to remember about divorce is that you don’t have to do it alone. It may not feel like it, but surrounding yourself with the right people will help you get through this, practically and emotionally.

Hiring the right divorce lawyer goes a long way toward getting you through the process and protecting your mental health. Having someone on your side who understands the process and knows what to expect can really help to ensure that you’re fully prepared.

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Thank you to Claire Holland of Holland Family Law for this blog post. To find out more about Claire you can contact her HERE as she features in The Hug Directory

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