How to Care for your Mental Health During Divorce
Marital issues such as divorce can cause depression and other health challenges. Taking care of your mental health during a divorce is vital, as you are vulnerable to feelings of helplessness, sadness, anger, and loneliness at this time. This negative mental state could also lead to distancing, distress, anxiety, and even suicide. Do you know how to deal with the emotional impacts of divorce? Can you work through the grief process and take care of your mental health during a divorce? Let`s talk about the effects of divorce on your physical and mental health and how to prevent these harmful effects.
Divorce and Stress
Divorce can be terribly stressful and may result in depression. People who feel depressed may indulge in alcohol or drug consumption to feel better. Men are more likely to drink more after a divorce because they tend to bottle up their feelings. Having intrusive thoughts is another major challenge people suffer during and after a divorce. When children are involved in a divorce, their parents` self-destructive behaviors may affect them psychologically.
Divorce and Physical Health
Some people suffer from one or more forms of eating disorders when they go through a divorce. They may comfort eat or overeat and gain a lot of weight, resulting in increased cholesterol intake, increase blood pressure, higher chances of a heart attack, and obesity. Some stop eating, get malnourished, and suffer drastic weight loss. This, in turn, leads to higher risks of colds, flu, and heart disease. Their anxiety levels also increase as a result of this.
5 Grieving Stages of Divorce
Going through a divorce is never easy, and you can never be fully prepared for it, regardless of whether or not you initiated it. It is normal for you to feel grief and loss during and after the divorce. Properly going through the grieving process and learning to cope with the effects of this life-changing separation will go a long way in helping you heal eventually. Let`s discuss five major stages of grieving.
The Denial Stage
This stage usually starts at the beginning of a divorce. You may find it difficult to accept that your marriage is about to end, and that`s totally fine. Denial is a type of coping mechanism people employ when they are hoping to reconcile with your spouse. Some marriages get fixed at this stage, while many don`t, and only get to the next stage of grieving.
The Questioning/Bargaining Stage
This is the stage when you ask yourself loads of questions. Some people wonder if the divorce really has to happen, while some others ask, “Did I cause this?” “Could I have done something differently?” “What would have happened if…?” What can I do to make this marriage work again?” At this stage, people attempt to change the past and the course of events that led up to the divorce. Again, this is normal.
The Depression/Anger Stage
At this stage, people go through depression, anxiety, loneliness, loss of appetite, and more. It is quite an uneasy stage. A number of people find it difficult to cope with their negative feelings during this stage and are usually advised to reach out to loved ones and seek professional help.
The Evaluation Stage
Just like other mishaps in life, it is vital to evaluate the reasons a marriage failed. The factors that led to your divorce may be difficult to process, however, evaluating the situation will help you think more clearly and objectively, and as a result, will help you move on. Taking responsibility for the role you played in the divorce may be difficult, however, you have to, in order to heal.
The Acceptance Stage
Finally, after going through the aforementioned phases, you eventually accept the fact that your marriage is over. You should now be ready to move on and start building a new life.
How to Care for your Mental Health During a Divorce
Taking care of your physical health is essential for caring for your mental health during a divorce. You will need to eat healthy foods, regulate your weight, and exercise regularly. There are breathing techniques that will also help you manage stress and get a good night’s sleep. Note that drugs and alcohol are never solutions. Opt instead for stress-relieving solutions like sports, art, cooking, hiking, or meditation. Let`s see some practical ways to care for your mental health in this difficult phase.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude and Sense of Humor
Going through a divorce is challenging for even the toughest people. You need to find ways to boost your mood and maintain your sense of humor in order to cope with this trying development. By all means, focus on your strengths and avoid perceiving divorce as a failure. See it instead as an opportunity to begin that phase of your life on a clean slate. Learn from your mistakes and start over, much better this time.
To maintain a sense of humor, you need to surround yourself with positive people with whom you can help reduce the feelings of stress, helplessness, and loneliness. You may also listen to uplifting music and watch comedies or inspirational movies.
Don`t Be in a Hurry to Get into a New Relationship
Don`t feel pressured to go back to dating so quickly, as this may affect your mental health with feelings of impatience, stress, anger, and isolation. This is the time to focus on yourself and understand who you are without a partner. Rediscover and enjoy the things you missed out on during your marriage. It may just be during this process while you don`t focus on getting a new partner that they may come your way.
Some Shocking Divorce Facts
- On average, couples spend about two years contemplating divorce before taking action.
- Three out of every four divorced people will remarry.
- Only about 6% of divorced couples end up remarrying each other.
- There is one divorce every 36 seconds in the United States: that’s about 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces a year.
- Studies show that the probability of a first marriage ending in divorce in the first five years is 20% and 33% in 10 years.
- The average age for couples who go through a divorce is 30 years old.
- The average length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is 8 years.
- People who are divorced or widowed are 20% more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or other chronic conditions.
- Divorced people report various physical health challenges, with about 30% experiencing mobility problems such as difficulty climbing stairs or walking short distances.
- In over one-third of marriages, one or both partners confess they have cheated.
- The most likely time an affair arises is two years into a marriage when couples start to have children and romance takes the back seat.
- When a woman cheats, it’s usually for emotional satisfaction, whereas men usually cheat from a physically sexual motivation.
- Business trips are a major opportunity for infidelity. About 35% of women and men admit to cheating on their partner while on a business trip.
- Late nights and long hours spent together at work can be threats to marriages, causing about 85% of affairs to start in the workplace.
Now that you Know…
No one wishes for a divorce, however, it happens, and when it does, prioritizing your mental health is crucial to avoid deteriorating into worse conditions. Take this phase seriously, as it may determine the quality of your life long after it. We wish you love and light at this time.