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Navigating Divorce And Mental Health Issues

Divorce for any reason, and under any circumstances, can be emotional and a challenge to work through, yet divorce is a common experience many people are faced with navigating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1,985,072 marriages in the United States in 2021. In the same year, there were at least 689,308 divorces and annulments recorded. The many stresses that often accompany divorce can negatively impact a former spouse’s outlook even when there are no chronic mental illnesses involved, simply because of how life-changing divorce can be. To help with the process and potentially reduce some of the stress that one can experience during divorce, consider contacting a experienced Colorado family law attorney at Colorado Divorce Law Group can provide assistance and legal guidance as you learn to balance your divorce and mental health. For questions or to schedule your free initial consultation call (720) 593-6442 today.

What Are the Impacts of Divorce on Mental Health?

Several studies have looked into the issue of divorce and mental health and have shown a strong link. One such study published in Psychological Medicine examined the social consequences of separation and divorce and how they related to a person’s emotional health. Essentially, divorce and separation showed a strong correlation with anxiety and depression. Individuals experiencing these adverse emotions during their divorce were at higher risk for abusing alcohol.

Divorce is cited as one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through, second only to the death of a spouse. Considering that people ostensibly go into marriage for it to last forever and put their efforts into building a life together when that does not work out, the loss of a marriage can feel like a death has taken place: The shared life a couple has built together is lost. Unsurprisingly, then, studies consistently show a strong negative correlation between mental health and divorce.

Top 6 Tips for Dealing With Divorce

Divorce can trigger feelings of anxiety as well as of grief. Facing the unknown of the future without a partner’s support can feel overwhelming, especially for divorcing spouses who are about to become single parents. Also, there are the potential financial implications of divorce that can compound the already distressing life event. In total, the toll that a divorce can have on one’s mental health can be substantial. So, how can one deal with divorce in the most healthful way? The attorneys at Colorado Divorce Law Group offer these tips that may help individuals navigate divorce and mental health.

Accept That You Will Experience a Wide Range of Feelings

The divorce process itself is usually not pleasant even in the most genial situations. This is likely to mean that during the initial filing and through to the conclusion of divorce and beyond, a person will feel many different things. Some days may be quite bleak, and feelings of angst or sadness can take over. Other days may feel brighter as one starts to think about the prospect of a fresh start in life. Experiencing a wide range of emotions is normal, but these emotions will not always be so strong and will in time, lessen.

Surround Yourself With Loved Ones

Having a solid support structure and extra care and love can be advantageous. If speaking to friends and family is not enough, or if a person feels that they do not want to put their burden on loved ones, then speaking to people outside of one’s circle can be helpful. Whether joining a support group or speaking to a professional, it is best not to isolate. Keeping in emotions and staying to one’s self can cause negative feelings to intensify and become an even greater albatross that can degrade emotional stability and overall health substantially.

Love Yourself and Allow Yourself Time

A person going through a divorce may not be able to function at a high level the way that they did when they were married. Accepting that what doing one’s best looks like may change from day can make it easier to celebrate and build on victories, without dwelling on missteps. Remember to cut yourself a break and accept that, just like an athlete recovering from a physical injury, you will need some time to heal and get yourself back on track. Pushing yourself too soon and not allowing time for self-care only makes divorce harder than it has to be.

Spend Time on Self-Care

Putting yourself first for a time can be helpful as you work through the feelings surrounding your divorce. This may mean placing emphasis on self-care can be just what is needed. Self-care looks different for different people and may shift depending on the circumstances and the person’s immediate and long-term needs, but in general most people can benefit from focusing on quality food, sleep, and exercise. Divorce usually entails a number of changes in one’s living situation and daily routine, so it may also be helpful to take time to adjust for a while without rushing to tackle any other major life decisions. Sitting with the feelings that often accompany and in many cases linger after divorce can be uncomfortable, but try to avoid common pitfalls that will only make things worse, like abusing alcohol or drugs as a refuge from dealing with one’s problems.

Enjoy Activities

If there were activities that you enjoyed before you were married, or that you would have liked to pursue more thoroughly during your marriage, take this time to explore those further. Whether it be a hobby, a leisure activity, volunteering, or another endeavor reconnect with what you love to do.

Walk Away From Arguments

Communicating with one’s former spouse in a respectful and courteous way can be challenging, especially when divorce proceedings have been acrimonious. However, screaming at each other is not going to help either party. So, if voices are being raised and temperatures are boiling over during an argumentative back and forth, consider being the first to take a deep breath and a step back. Resisting the urge to prove one’s point or attempt to win the argument is often challenging, but more often than not it is better to stop such an interaction and cool down instead. Whatever is being discussed is unlikely to be going anywhere, which means it can be addressed at a later time when both parties can keep their cool.

Call a Family Law Attorney for Assistance With Divorce

Divorce and mental health have a strong negative correlation for many divorcing couples, and there may be no way to avoid feelings of distress at various point throughout the divorce process. However, there are things that can be done to help get through divorce in the most streamlined way while preserving one’s wellbeing. Divorce can be a stressful and emotionally challenging process. The experienced and compassionate legal team at Colorado Divorce Law Group is here to speak with you if you would like to schedule a time to review your case and discuss how support from a dedicated attorney can help you safeguard your mental health during a divorce. Call our office today at (720) 593-6442.