7 Coping Strategies for Divorce: Dealing With Emotions of Divorce

7 Coping Strategies for Divorce: Dealing With Emotions of Divorce

coping strategies for divorce


The effects of handling a divorce can last for years after it happens. The divorce process can be mentally, physically, and financially demanding, and as a result, it can bring many feelings of guilt, sadness, grief, and stress. Everyone will have their way of coping with divorce, however, one thing is for sure – self-care is critical. It’s important to note, self-care not only includes your mental and emotional health but your physical health as well. Taking care of your health can help you cope. Here are some coping strategies for divorce.


Boston evening therapy logoCoping Strategies for Divorce:

With the help of Boston Evening Therapy, here are some coping strategies to keep in mind to handle the effects of a divorce.


#1: Talk About It

While divorce is common and most of us have either experienced it or know someone close to us who has, it is far from “normal” life experience. The level of pain inflicted by the experience ranges widely from tolerable disruption and discomfort to wrenching despair and a sense of personal destruction. 

Boston Evening Therapy:

“While advice from friends and family can be very supportive, more often the most beneficial help can be found within a community with others experiencing it and/or with a skilled professional therapist. We suggest one or a combination of the following to consider for your divorce coping strategies:

  • Volunteer: Connect with others in pain and need. Giving and helping is deeply therapeutic and empowering for the giver.”


#2: Take Care of Yourself

A divorce is a critical time to focus on your most basic self-care even if you don’t feel like it.

Tips from Boston Evening Therapy:

  1. Prioritize Sleep. Rest is critical to counteract the effects of prolonged stress. Seek 7-9 hours every night and protect your sleep time as much as possible.
  2. Exercise. Preferably outside and if possible in a natural setting. Walk, run, hike, cycle. Carry light hand weights and do strength-building exercises. The beneficial effects of exercise for physical and emotional health are enormous. Observe nature and its beauty and tranquillity. Notice that the world is much bigger than this immediate trauma.
  3. Lean on a trusted friend. It is ok to hurt and be needy now. A true friend will always understand that and if they don’t….they may not be a true friend.

Other Tips:

This is all about making time to ensure you are healthy

  1. Eat Right: a good diet will help you find the strength to fight through divorce
  2. Relax: think of ways to ease your mind. Try meditation or yoga.
  3. Treat Yourself: every once in a while, do something for you. What cheers you up?
  4. Go Outside: get some fresh air
  5. Work-Life Balance: Don’t overwork yourself (overspend time at work)


#3: Your Feelings Are Completely Normal:

Part of getting over a divorce is being able to recognize it’s okay to feel alone, sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused. 

Tips from Boston Evening Therapy:

“You might hear things like this from well-meaning people:

  • ‘You’re better of without him/her’
  • ‘Run, don’t walk from that marriage’
  • ‘When you’re ready, I have an amazing guy/gal for you to meet’

The sub-text running through these statements is that ‘this is somehow a good thing in disguise and you should see that’.

Well, it may indeed turn out that way one day, but it sure doesn’t feel like that now. Some combination of guilt, shame, rage, fear, desperation, confusion and fantasies of violence are more likely. These feelings are normal. Divorce can feel like an existential threat and touch off our most primal “fight or flight” autonomic response system. To protect yourself, find support, community and trusted friends and professionals.”


#4: Give Yourself a Mental Break

Divorce can be a devastating experience as it is, so there’s no need to beat yourself up over a divorce. Instead, give yourself a mental break from everything going on to focus on healing yourself:

Boston Evening Therapy: “Practice clearing your mind and being still. Find your sanctuary. Some good examples can be a public library, a city park, a favorite coffee shop or your church or house of worship. Observe….be still…. Breathe…..Breathe……Breathe”.


#5: Think Positively

Having a positive attitude during and after a divorce can provide a fresh opportunity to start a new as you put your divorce behind you.

Boston Evening Therapy: “Working towards a hopeful and positive mindset can be especially hard in these times. But most often with help, it can be achieved and it offers you a tremendous advantage. Remind yourself that practicing and training yourself to be more optimistic is, in fact, possible and optimism generally leads to a much better outcome. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychology can both help”.


#6: Avoid Toxic Arguments with Your Former Spouse:

It’s not worth it for you, your ex-spouse or your kids. When disagreements happen, instead of arguing, set up a time to talk things through, with the mutual understanding of keeping things civil. Try to come to decisions together that help your children, and solving problems in a practical and rational manner.

Boston Evening Therapy: “They are going through their own form of torment or despair. Neither of you likely has enough ground beneath your feet to have anything productive come of this and more likely it will make things worse”.


#7: Explore Your Interests

The end of a marriage can be an opportunity to try new hobbies and activities – or simply re-engage in old hobbies that may have halted from your marriage. After you heal and grieve from divorce, hobbies can fill your new unoccupied hours. Some will take up hobbies that interact with other people in a group setting, while others may pursue solo-hobbies. Whatever hobby you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy. Hobbies can help focus your attention away from negative thoughts or starting bad habits, helping you stay in a positive mindset.

Boston Evening Therapy: “Seek the light. This is a perfect time for personal reinvention or for rededication to your values. Now is the time to ask yourself the big questions. What are the bedrock values of life for me?  What actions should I now dedicate myself to? What positive lessons can I learn that can guide me in the next phase of life?”


We hope with these tips, we can help you get through your divorce. If you or someone you know is looking to get a divorce and needs legal representation, the attorneys at Fraier & Maillet, P.C. are here to help. Our Worcester County divorce attorneys will help you get what you need.


Written by Jane A. Fraier

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