I know how hard it is to go through a divorce in the best of times. Splitting up with your wife can leave you feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster more terrifying than any of the thrill rides at “Action Park” when it was operating in Vernon.
Now, during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, enduring a divorce can be a living hell. Not only are many New Jersey men and fathers feeling trapped in a bad marriage, they are trapped in their home with a woman they mostly want to walk away from so they can start their life over.
It can be doubly hard if there are children, especially younger ones. They hear the fighting and internalize their own dismay at mom and dad not getting along. Older kids and teens may become sullen, angry or lash out, and their schoolwork might suffer
Even if a man or father is living in his own place, the lockdown coupled with going through a divorce can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Whether you are working from home after being accustomed to going to an office and being around people or if you are unemployed, the toll the lockdown takes on your emotional well-being can be an enormous burden.
But there are ways to reduce the stress. Many New Jersey men and fathers going through a divorce have found some of these strategies helpful.
Meditate or Do Yoga –
This is not for everyone, but many men find that yoga classes or meditating helps to calm them, keeping their mind focused and reducing their stress level. A lot of yoga studios are offering online or outdoor sessions and there is a wealth of information about how to start meditating on the internet.
Connect with Friends and Family –
Obviously, it is much harder to stay connected with your buddies and family members now. Video calls are one way, of course, but they are not quite the same thing as talking over dinner or drinks or while watching a game. Still, there are ways to safely meet with real people in real time. Many parks are open so you can safely gather with a small group, sit on the grass and talk while sharing a meal or a drink. Just be sure to wear masks, stay at least six feet apart from each other, and bring your own food or beverage. And don’t shake hands or hug.
Take Walks or Ride a Bike –
Whether you live in a rural area, a small town, a suburb, or in the middle of a large city, getting out and just seeing other people will reduce your sense of isolation. Just as important, the exercise will reduce stress as it increases your blood circulation and uses muscles that might not have been used very much as you have been sitting in your home all day. New Jersey is filled with walking trails that you can enjoy alone or, if you have kids, to spend quality, fun time with them. If you are in the wilderness, you may be able to keep your mask in a pocket.
Turn Off the News –
Even though my wife Carmen and I are happily married, we had to stop watching cable news obsessively or checking online editions of newspapers multiple times a day. The constant stream of All COVID All The Time updates is depressing and creates its own stress. Now, we check the newspapers in the morning and try to limit our exposure to cable news to an hour or less every day. Doing this left us in a much better frame of mind.
Join a Support Group –
We sponsor and facilitate a support group every month for men and fathers going through a divorce. It meets virtually right now, and you do not have to be a client to participate. Even before COVID-19 took over everybody’s life, men have told me our group helped them cope with the realities of getting a divorce because they could open up, sharing ideas and problems with other men dealing with similar issues.
Many New Jersey Men and Fathers are in The Same Boat
It is easy to forget that you’re not alone even if you are alone, locked down in your home. Thousands of other men and fathers in New Jersey are going through exactly what you’re experiencing.
Getting a divorce during the current situation and the overall stress brought on by the coronavirus, it is likely you’re already in a state of shock that’s getting compounded not just daily but hourly. If you’re not mindful of this pressure and act to reduce it, you may be putting yourself at greater risk for the virus and for more emotional turmoil.
If you are ready to proceed with your divorce, we are working remotely during COVID-19. Our group of experienced family lawyers at The Micklin Law Group are in touch with each other, all of our client files and the court thanks to our electronic infrastructure.