Those that have experienced the trauma of separation and divorce, can confirm that this is likely one of the most stressful times they have ever had to deal with.
Most people expect there to be financial pressure due to dividing up the family assets, but most do not realise the emotional and psychological impact it will have on you and your family.
It is therefore important to ensure you have a supportive network of friends and family around you. Don’t shy away from reaching out to a therapist or a support group if you feel that you need the extra support.
The main thing is that you have a way to process how you are feeling and someone to talk to about the changes that will inevitably happen as you go through the divorce process.
There are so many forms of counselling and support groups to choose from, from CBT, Solution Focused Therapy to support groups such as CODA to name but a few. It is worth doing some research into the different types of therapies to find out what resonates with you the most.
Reading can also help by providing information to keep you strong and positive when you are going through separation and divorce. A few books that I have found helpful are; ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ by Katherine Woodward, ‘Co-dependent No More;’ ‘How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself’ by Melodie Beattie; ‘Feel the Fear and do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers; ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl; ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle or if you would a bit of lighter read you could try ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Liz Gilbert, which may inspire you to board the next plane to Italy.
Eating well is always important and never more so than when you are under immense pressure and stress. Foods containing B Vitamins and Magnesium can help you feel more emotionally balanced which can be found in brown rice, red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, seeds, nuts and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach. Foods that contain a good source of magnesium are whole wheat grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and avocados.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to elevate the two feel-good hormones (serotonin and dopamine), whilst simultaneously lowering your cortisol and adrenaline levels; hormones that can heighten feelings of stress and anxiety. All forms of exercise will achieve a similar outcome, so try to find something that you enjoy doing, so that you keep at it. Running is a great form of exercise, as it is cheap and easy to get started, simply don some trainers and run out your front door. Alternatively, you may prefer the nurturing and relaxing effects of yoga.
Meditation has a number of benefits, from increasing focus, to reducing the feeling of stress and anxiety. It is also said to help deepen sleep. There are many different forms of meditation, so it is worth trying them all until you find a technique that works for you. I have personally tried Mindfulness and Transcendental meditation. I get good results with both. Your awareness in mindfulness meditation is usually concentrating on the rise and fall of your breath, whereas with Transcendental meditation you focus your attention on a mantra (a word or sound). To get started, it might be worth using one of the many apps available on your phone, such as Calm, Headspace, Breath Guru, Mindfulness, and Buddhify. As little as 5 minutes a day can start creating positive benefits.
I hope the above information has given you some idea of how to look after yourself whilst during and after divorce and separation proceedings. More articles of this nature will shortly be available, going further into each area mentioned above.
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