Mental health professionals use the Holmes-Rahe Scale to measure the stressfulness of major life events. On this scale, divorce ranks second, placing only after the death of a close loved one. Consequently, if you are thinking of ending your marriage, you should expect to experience some stress.
Staying mentally and emotionally healthy will help you make proactive decisions about your divorce. While you should not be too hard on yourself, implementing the following four tips may keep stress from becoming overwhelming.
1. Avoid power battles
Divorce is often the perfect environment for soon-to-be ex-spouses to engage in power struggles. If you are constantly battling with your husband or wife, though, you may inadvertently increase your stress levels. Therefore, even if you ultimately cannot keep your divorce amicable, consider picking your battles carefully and thoughtfully.
2. Focus on physical health
Physical exercise is one of the more effective ways to keep stress in check. Before, during and after your divorce, try to stick to an exercise regimen. Even 30 minutes of physical activity each week may make a considerable difference in your mental health.
3. Keep up with your hobbies
While your divorce may consume much of your attention, you should not neglect hobbies. Doing activities you enjoy may increase production of endorphins. These happiness hormones combat stress.
4. Get some help
You should not expect to get through your divorce without some assistance. If you notice your stress rising, you may want to think about seeking professional help. Talking to a therapist or visiting a psychiatrist may be beneficial.
If your divorce-related stress is physiological, a doctor may recommend medication to help you cope. Regardless, taking advantage of professional mental health services may help you minimize the many adverse psychological effects that often accompany divorce.