Separating from a partner who you hoped would be your life partner inevitably causes pain, and can leave you feeling overwhelmed, particularly when trying to minimize the effects of divorce on your children.
Understanding the emotional and physical stress that comes with divorce can be a useful first step in managing the experience.
Learning how to deal with the situation means learning how to care for ourselves to get through it.
The first step towards managing stress is to acknowledge it.
Recognize your feelings. It’s normal to feel lonely, frustrated or even hopeless. It is understandable to miss the emotional connections, support, or financial stability that we had or hoped we would have.
Don’t let stress take over – take care.
As a parent, a caregiver, we need to remember to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of those depending on us. We may not be able to change or control a stressful situation, but we can control how we treat our health.
Work against becoming isolated by reaching out to others. Supportive, understanding friends, relatives, support groups, and therapists can help.
Treat your body well. Eat healthy food. Get exercise that you enjoy. Yoga can help with relaxation. If stress triggers an increase in smoking or alcohol consumption, check with your doctor for help.
Spend time for your children every day.
No matter how tough the day, just giving each child an individual greeting and hug can ease their stress. Tub time, bed time, going for a walk can be a time to listen.
Depending on their age, children are not always able to fully verbalize how a situation is affecting them but their behavior may reflect what they are feeling.
What you observe may tell you more than what they can verbalize themselves.
You do not have to go through it alone. There are community agencies that offer counselling and some may offer assistance for fees geared to income. There are also community agencies that provide legal information and debt/credit counselling.
Remember: We’re always here when you’re ready to talk.