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Stress and divorce pt. 2: How to manage the stress of a divorce

In the last post, we discussed why divorce is so stressful for so many people. And while stress may always accompany significant life changes—like divorce—that does not mean that people have to suffer the consequences of it.

Here are some helpful tips on how to manage stress during a divorce.

Allow the emotions to run their course

Throughout the entire process of divorce, people experience a wide variety of emotions. And when those emotions range from anger to relief, they might also feel confused. 

However, avoiding those emotions when they happen can lead stress to build up even more. It may be helpful for individuals to speak with trusted friends or family members about what they feel, instead of ignoring the emotion.

Avoid unnecessary communication with ex-spouses

Speaking with a soon-to-be-ex-spouse is often unavoidable during the divorce process. After all, spouses have to determine custody agreements or asset division agreements. And they cannot do that without speaking.

However, it does not hurt to restrict communication to the divorce proceedings. Setting boundaries has many benefits, including:

  • Giving spouses time to prepare for negotiations and conversations
  • Protecting each spouse’s privacy and time
  • Decreasing the chance of a stressful argument

Divorcing parents can even establish these boundaries in their parenting plan so that they continue after the divorce is finalized.

Maintain healthy habits

The Mayo Clinic reports that exercise helps reduce stress. It is a natural way for someone to lift their mood and release tension. 

Plan time for fun activities

The divorce process can feel all-consuming. And that is part of the reason that it is also so stressful. 

Setting aside time to do a favorite hobby or spend time with family and friends can help individuals participate in normal activities, which can help reduce the effects of change—and therefore the stress—from divorce.