Divorce stress is a part of the divorce process. It is how we deal with it that matters.
People may manage alright day to day, yet completely be thrown off course when complications come their way.
This can be during a collaborative divorce session or a day in court when otherwise they muddle through proceedings okay.
So, how do we handle stressful situations during divorce?
Practice Deep Breathing
One way to reduce stressful feelings is to take several deep breaths. When feeling anxious, we tend to take shallow breaths from the shoulder area. Slowing down inhalation and exhalation with abdominal breathing helps to calm us down. Deep breathing moves oxygen throughout the body and helps you to get more centered.
Deep breathing slows down thoughts and enables one to concentrate on what needs attention right now. My son works as a cook in a face-paced restaurant. When things are spiraling out of control, he inhales deeply and thinks: “I am in the moment.” Focusing on his breath keeps him in the present: concentrating on the task at hand, instead of worrying about may happen next.
Consider Homeopathic Remedies
Another avenue for dealing with an intense situation is taking a homeopathic remedy. I popped two small melt-in your-mouth pellets for instant calmness. There are many brands on the market for immediate relief from stress. Also available are homeopathic ones for long-term use. These are quite specific to the various types of life challenges. I avoided prescription medications and had great results with the homeopathic ones. Consider consulting with your health care provider or a naturopathic doctor to determine what is best for you.
Increase Your Physical Activity
Physical activity helps to banish that jittery feeling that comes with stress. Before each collaborative meeting and post-divorce court cases, I went running. It got me calmer and balanced. In-between times exercise burned off any residual anxiety. Think of fun activities, Zumba, a hike, ice skating, anything that gets you moving. When receiving upsetting news during divorce, staying active enabled me to cope with whatever was thrown at me.
Join a Support Group
A support group can be a lifeline when feeling that you are drowning in stress. It can be a structured one which is available through divorce organizations. The leaders provide guidance, information and facilitate discussions. The feedback and advice from the other participants gave me new insights into my situation. Also, Meet-Up.com has various ones – who socialize while airing their divorce concerns. These divorce clubs have fun activities and provide camaraderie.
What seems to be a major crisis, may be broken down into manageable parts which can be dealt with separately. Instead of being overwhelmed by the whole issue, see what you can do piece by piece. For example, I tried to stay in the marital house but realized it was not financially feasible. I went into panic mode and was immobilized by fear. When I dealt with the problem step-by-step, it changed into an inconvenience instead of being a full-blown crisis.
I went through my personal property, deciding, what to take when I moved, what to donate and what items to sell at a yard sale. A lovely house in my price range hit the real-estate market and my sons and I quickly moved. I took control of this crisis instead of letting it control me.
When in the midst of a crisis, call a friend. Venting one’s grievances to a sympathetic ear can have a calming effect. Often what it takes, is for someone to really listen and be present with us. Part of going through a nerve-wracking episode in our lives is feeling that we are alone. Getting together with friends keeps us connected to others, instead of suffering in isolation.
My pals also gave me a reality check when I expressed catastrophic thoughts. Getting together with friends and laughing has health benefits. The Mayo Clinic states on their website, “Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”
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