Coping Strategies During Divorce: Mental Health Tips and Resources

person sitting outside in mountains at sunset

Divorce is a major life change that has many practical considerations, such as determining who gets what, creating a parenting plan for shared child custody, and addressing issues like alimony. But beyond the nuts and bolts of unwinding a marriage, there can also be a fair bit of emotional turbulence, anxiety, and stress.

As a firm that’s helped numerous clients across Queen Anne’s County in matters of family law, we know that divorce isn’t an easy experience. In addition to providing the compassionate, custom-tailored counsel clients need to navigate their legal experiences, we also prioritize their mental health and well-being by offering insight we’ve gained over our years in practice.

Whether you’re contemplating a divorce or are already preparing for the process, we’ve put together a few helpful tips and coping strategies to get you through in one piece.

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions

It's natural to experience a wide range of emotions during a divorce, from sadness and anger to relief and fear. Allow yourself to feel these emotions without judgment. Bottling up your feelings can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Instead, express your emotions through journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or seeking professional therapy.

2. Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is crucial during a divorce. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and engage in physical activity. Self-care also includes doing activities you enjoy, such as reading, hiking, or practicing yoga, and grounding techniques such as deep breathing and meditation. Maintaining your physical health and ability to focus on the present can have a positive impact on your mental well-being.

3. Seek Professional Support

Consider working with a therapist or counselor who specializes in divorce and family issues. Professional support offers a safe space to discuss your feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Therapists can also help you navigate co-parenting challenges if your divorce involves matters of child custody.

4. Stay Connected with Loved Ones

Isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. Stay connected with family and friends who can offer emotional support. Join support groups, either in-person or online, where you can share experiences and gain insights from others going through similar situations.

5. Set Realistic Expectations

Divorce is a process, and it won't be resolved overnight. As you set realistic expectations for yourself and the process, remember that many factors may feel beyond your control, and that there will be ups and downs. Give yourself grace during this transition, break tasks into manageable steps, focus on issues you can control (such as your attitude and daily routines), and celebrate small victories along the way.

6. Develop a Support Network

Building a support network is essential for emotional and practical assistance. Beyond friends and loved ones, this network can include support groups and professionals qualified to help you address important aspects of your journey, such as therapists, financial advisors, and lawyers. Having a team of people you can rely on will help you feel less alone and more supported.

7. Plan for the Future

While it's important to focus on the present, planning for the future can give you a sense of direction and purpose. Set achievable goals and create a vision for your life post-divorce. This can provide motivation and a positive outlook during challenging times.

8. Work Closely with Your Lawyer

A compassionate and experienced lawyer can significantly ease the stress of divorce. At Matthew Penick Law, we prioritize the emotional well-being of our clients by providing thoughtful, step-by-step counsel and support. We also take the time to educate clients about the legal aspects of divorce, their rights and options, and what they can expect, and to empower them as they make informed decisions about important issues. When you choose our team, you can be confident that you’ll be in caring and capable hands.

Mental Health Resources As You Navigate Divorce

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Provides resources and support for individuals dealing with mental health challenges. Visit NAMI
  • Psychology Today: Find a therapist near you or explore articles on coping with divorce. Visit Psychology Today
  • BetterHelp: Services like BetterHelp allow you to access professional counseling services online. Visit BetterHelp

Need Legal Support for Your Divorce? We Can Help.

Attorney Matthew Penick and our team are passionate about helping folks and families navigate the legal and emotional complexities of divorce. If you’re exploring options for divorce or any other family law matter, we want to help.

Matthew Penick Law serves clients throughout Queen Anne’s County and beyond from our office on Kent Island. Call (410) 618-0863 or contact us online to request an initial consultation.