Dealing with divorce / separation / break-up can be very painful. There are a lot of emotions involved, oftentimes conflicting with each other, which leads to further confusion. People sometimes feel like they are going crazy, their lives are on a downward spiral, turned upside down, and even loose meaning.
Feelings of grief due to loss of both the relationship and dreams for the future together built around that relationship can be extremely overwhelming and unsettling. When a relationship comes to an end, it’s very common to question oneself, feel a sense of guilt and failure, and wonder about one’s ability to find love again. Fears about ending up alone and not being able to overcome feelings of grief and loss are very common as well. In absence of adequate coping skills, some people turn to unhealthy behaviors like using drugs and alcohol to cope with pain, grief, and overwhelming emotions.
So what are some ways to deal with divorce / separation / break up?
1. Don’t do it alone. Reach out to your support system. Spend more quality time with supportive friends and family.
2. Express your feelings. Vent. Write in a journal. Avoid keeping your emotions bottled up.
3. Practice relaxation and stress management techniques. A lot. Each and every day. And then some more.
4. Join a divorce support group.
5. Get out of the house even if you do not feel like it. Engage in healthy and relaxing activities that bring you joy (e.g., sports, hobbies, socializing).
6. Pamper yourself. A lot! And then some more. And then again.
7. Write down a list of reasons why the relationship was not good for you and read it often. It is easy to fall into a trap of longing for the lost love and only remembering the good times when pain becomes overwhelming.
8. Go on a trip - even if it is just for one night to a hotel in the very next county. Change of scenery can do wonders for the body, mind and soul.
And finally ... Make an appointment with an experienced therapist who specializes in relationship and divorce issues when you need additional support. You do not need to do it all alone. Help is available.