Divorce can take a toll on your emotional, mental and physical health, and it may incite a period of your life where you experience feelings of depression. The National Network of Depression Centers states that during their lifetimes, one in five Americans will experience some form of mental illness.
Even though divorce is difficult on many levels, there are steps you can take to cope with the process and move on. You should also remember that feelings of sadness, anger, exhaustion and confusion are normal.
1. Go easy on yourself
During your divorce, you may not function at an optimal level for a while at work and at home. Give yourself permission to reduce your productivity and take time to regroup, re-energize and heal.
2. Invest in your emotional and physical health
Make a habit of eating well, exercising regularly and relaxing when you can. Try to stick to your standard routines as much as you can and refrain from altering your life plans significantly until you finalize your divorce. You should also avoid using cigarettes, alcohol or drugs as a method for coping.
3. Know when to step back
Power struggles with your spouse may occur often as you negotiate your divorce settlement. These disagreements can exhaust your physical and emotional health, so learn when to step back from a situation to regroup. For example, if a discussion about child custody with your spouse turns into a major argument, calmly walk away or hang up the phone and agree to talk again later.
4. Explore your interests
While married, you may have let go of some of the activities you previously enjoyed. Find ways to go back to these activities and try out new ones. For instance, you may want to sign up for a class to learn a new skill, go to events to make new friends, volunteer or spend your free time on favorite hobbies.