Along with the death of a family member or loved one and a job loss, divorce is one of the most-stressful life events anyone can endure. It can leave even the strongest men and fathers emotionally drained and physically exhausted.
Worse, it can interfere with your ability – even willingness – to function on day-to-day basis, whether in your personal life or in your work.
As a family law attorney Montclair who focuses on men and fathers going through a divorce, we often tell clients who feel as if they’re being hit on all sides right now that there are self-care things you can do to help relieve the stress you’re feeling. Prime among them is simply recognizing what you’re feeling isn’t unusual. Even better, there are techniques to help you be good to yourself.
Here are nine of them:
- Join A Support Group – There are many support groups for New Jersey men and fathers going through a divorce, including one we sponsor. You do not have to be a client to participate in our group. My goal is to provide a forum to discuss the emotional, financial, child custody and other issues associated with your divorce, even if you are simply considering splitting with your wife.
- Know You’re Not Alone – Whether it’s through a support group such as ours or simply reaching out to family members, friends or seeking professional help from a therapist, a little love and support will mean a lot when you feel overwhelmed about the end of your marriage. Given that half of all marriages end in divorce, it’s likely many other people around you every day are going through the same thing as you, or have at some point in their life.
- Work it Off – Whether it’s hitting the gym, running every day before or after work, playing on a team or just going for a walk regularly, exercise is a great stress reducer. Physical exercise will help you reduce stress, negative feelings and anger.
- Avoid Sudden Decisions – For many men and fathers considering or getting a divorce, their stress and anxiety results in them making hasty decisions that they may come to regret later on. Before making a decision, weigh your options and think things through carefully.
- Let Things Go – I don’t mean avoid, but many of the issues you’re dealing with now are way beyond your control. Perhaps your ex is making life miserable for you regardless of what you’re doing to strive for an amical break-up. Let it go and turn it around by dealing with them in a civil and understanding way – even if you don’t feel it entirely. Avoid thinking about the “should haves” and “could haves.” It’s done, move on.
- Create “Me” Time – Sitting alone while playing solitaire on a device won’t help. Schedule time for yourself, even as simple as going to a walk, getting a massage or meeting a buddy for a coffee. Little things like these can make a huge difference on your outlook.
- Feel Your Feelings – Bottling up your feelings works against you and is damaging to your emotional and physical well-being. Working with so many men and fathers going through a divorce, I know it is helpful to speak with a therapist or counsellor, take advantage of the Employee Assistance Plan at work, or join a group of other men going through divorce. These can enable you shed destructive coping mechanisms from drugs and liquor or beer to lashing out at people.
- Eat Healthy – It’s a cliché to say “You are what you eat.” Everybody may know it but in a time of stress, it’s easy to forget. Remember: That bag of cookies doesn’t love you. Eating healthy will lift your mood and leave you feeling better about yourself – especially if you’ve put on some weight recently.
- Talk with An Attorney – Although I can’t be your counselor, our family law lawyers will help steer you to the resources you might need. Besides our support group, for instance, we have a list of specialists who are experts in helping you with coping strategies during your separation and divorce.
Divorcing your spouse can be difficult enough as we help you sort through the legal issues that are involved. Don’t add to your stress by not using some – or all – of these coping strategies.
If you or a man you know is considering a divorce, we can help you with both the law and the stress. Please call me or any of our family and divorce lawyers in Nutley & Montclair at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or in Montclair at 862.245.4620. I know what you’re going through and can help you with both the law and direct you to experts to help you deal with your emotions.