It is extremely common for people going through divorce to experience periods of depression and anxiety. This is due to many things. If you are the person that filed, you are probably experiencing a lot of emotions from built up frustration, disappointment, or hurt. If you are the person who was on the receiving end of the filing, you may be feeling shocked, saddened, or frustrated. However, no matter the position you are in, both parties to a divorce are at some point going to be grieving a relationship and going to experience fears of the unknown. These things alone can drive a person to an unsettling and often sad place. Below are tips to help alleviate some of that anxiety and depression, as well as activities that will help bring happiness to your life as you go through the divorce process.
Throw Yourself Into An Activity
Throwing yourself into an activity is some of the best advice that can be given to anyone, at any point in their life when they get stuck in a ‘rut.’ This activity could be as small as exercising daily or picking up a new book, to as time consuming as learning a new skill, or hobby, or even getting a new job. No matter what you do, choose something that will make you feel accomplished at the end of it. In a time when it feels that you may be losing something (whether it be a relationship, financial stability, purpose), picking up a new activity will be a way to replenish that loss with a since of gain.
Reconnect With Old Friends
There is no better time to reconnect with old friends than now. Whether you just need a ‘guy’s day’ on the boat or brunch with the girls, make time to spend the ones you love. Not only is it important during this time to have a support system there for you, but reconnecting with your oldest and closest friends can spark really good memories that will bring a lot of happiness in your days.
Plan for the Future
Plan a family member or friend’s birthday party. Plan trips in the near future (or the not so near future). Set long term goals. Start small, and work your way towards bigger plans, or go all in. It may sound silly, but by making plans, however big, you can start to make the most of this new era of life that you are going to be entering. Planning events or trips in the future will allow you to have positive memories to look forward to, during trying times.
Get a Pet
This may not be for everyone, and there is a lot to say about not compulsively bringing home a new animal, but pets can be a great way to lower anxiety and stress levels. In fact, it is proven that playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which causes people to relax. Pets offer a sense of companionship that can be really needed at a time like this. In addition, pets offer structure and routine to your day, which can help as you try to navigate your new day-to-day.
If you haven’t already done so, use this time to bring out your inner Marie Kondo and get to cleaning and organizing. Use her rule “spark joy” to throw out things that do not bring you happiness. Start removing items from your house that spark bad memories, or that you don’t enjoy. Even consider rearranging furniture to bring a different feel to a familiar place. Not only will it feel great to de-clutter your life, it will also act as a great distraction from stressful times.
Reserve Time For Healing
As much as it is important to plan for the future, and reconnect with friends, it is also important to set aside time in your routine to heal. This can be alone time to meditate, go on long walks, journal, rest, or maybe it involves time with a counselor. Whatever it is that allows you to find peace and to heal, do that. It is important to allow yourself the ability to process your own thoughts and figure out how you want to move on in the future.