Whilst it is hoped that married couples may divorce amicably, in practice, it can be far from a friendly split.
In my experience, being a divorce lawyer is not simply knowing the law; it’s also knowing and understanding clients and the emotional turbulence that invariably interferes with the divorce process.
I frequently remind my clients that in the midst of the legal paperwork, Court attendances and lingering arguments with exes via WhatsApp or Facebook, it is imperative to remind oneself that there will be a conclusion to the process. Often the stress and anxiety when going through a divorce takes over; a loss of appetite, loss of enjoyment in engaging in social activities, finding it difficult to carry out basic daily tasks that were previously done subconsciously.
During this emotionally challenging time, I like to remind my clients of a few tips than make the darkest days of the divorce process, a little bit less overwhelming:
Pay attention to your emotional needs
Take advantage of the many forums for discussion that are available in the twenty-first century. There are several fantastic support groups both locally and online. Counselling and therapy are also great options and can be extremely effective. A little talking can go a long way when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
Keep yourself fit and healthy
Weight loss is commonly experienced by divorce clients, often as a result of anxiety and the loss of appetite associated with this condition. As hard as it is, it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet – you will need strength to combat the process.
Change your expectations
It is perfectly normal to remember the time when you thought you would be with your ex-husband/wife forever. Try to let go of these expectations and what you feel the outcome should be or should have been; think positively, about the future.
Participate in activities that will nurture you emotionally and physically
Try to engage in activities that will alleviate the stress you may be experiencing. Read a good book, take a bubble bath, try a new hobby and surround yourself with positive people. Small lifestyle changes will promote feelings of confidence and self-worth.
Avoid making hasty decisions
In highly stressful times, any decisions or life changes should not be made without careful consideration of the consequences. Take the time to think before taking action.
Keep busy and try something new
Whether it be joining the gym, taking up dog walking or joining a local salsa class, keep busy. Nothing helps your emotions bounce back than physical activity. It will certainly alleviate stress, tension and anxiety.
Keep calm and carry on
Emotions are normal but how you respond to emotions influences quality of life. Do not allow your feelings to affect the existing great aspects of your life; if you are hurt or angry, it is advisable to find a local support group or therapist/counsellor to vent those negative feelings to.
Do not neglect the importance of endorphins
Remember to laugh. Make time for fun activities that bring you enjoyment. Maintain your friendships and socialise regularly – try to avoid isolation. The release of endorphins will help you to feel positive and uplifted.
Learn to let go and move on
It is expected to have feelings of loss when going through a divorce. Akin to mourning, time will heal. Divorce is not a symbol of failure; learn to forgive yourself and do not allow any issues from one marriage, transfer into new relationships. Stay focused on all the positive aspects of your life that you retain control over and let go of the rest.
We are not qualified therapists or counsellors but we are lawyers who care. We pride ourselves on our personal approach to clients considering or going through a divorce. If this appeals to you, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8951 6666.
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