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Coping with Divorce

Going through a divorce is a stressful time for anyone involved. The couple, their children and the immediate people around them, to certain degrees, all suffer the damaging effects caused by the disintegration of the family. The first step to successfully get through a divorce is to acknowledge that these effects can’t all be fixed in just one day. The healing process takes time, most especially when the aggrieved person’s emotion is overcome with grief and anger. A separation can be treated as a positive life changing experience, if the persons involved are able to cope well.

Start fresh; start with a clean slate:

Clearing out stuff that used to belong to the other partner can help start the healing process. The physical absence of an ex’s personal belongings may provide some closure. Holding on to items, clothes, personal effects and memorabilia may only bring back painful memories, hindering the move to start anew.

Rebuild one’s self-esteem:

A person going through a separation may feel a decreased sense of self-worth and even self-respect. Developing self-esteem helps in coping with the effects left by the abandoning of a loved-one. To overcome this decrease sense of worthiness and to boost self-esteem, a positive self-image is important. Although boosting self-confidence does not happen overnight, focusing on little successes rather than big failures can help improve the way one sees herself.

Be surrounded with friends and family:

Friends and family play a big part in the rebuilding process. They provide support when one needs it the most. People going through a divorce tend to withdraw from society. To have a shoulder to cry on may save a person from possibly going crazy in these stressful times. Also, by regularly organizing little gatherings with family and friends, may help one get his or her life back on track. Regular meetings provide a structure when things seem to look out of control.

Join support groups:

Even with friends around, talking to a group of people who have been through a similar experience will help one cope with the divorce. Check with your local community, local paper or church groups for any recovery programs.

Indulge yourself:

One would be surprised to learn that learning to put oneself first before anything can bring out the energy and the drive to take care of other people. Occasional pampering boosts and nourishes the mind, body and soul.

Some stress relievers one can indulge in include:

  • Not stressing over what people may think about the situation.

  • Living in a clutter free environment

  • Taking a time off from work, even for a couple of days

  • Changing the scenery, albeit only temporarily

  • Enjoying leisure activities or taking on a new hobby

  • Trying something new for a change

  • Exercising

Write a journal:

Writing down one’s thoughts, feelings and observations may prove to be therapeutic. A journal will help assess how far the healing process has progressed. A journal helps recognize problems, patters or signals that may have to be addressed later on.

Seek professional help:

Lastly, when things become too unbearable, do not be afraid to seek the help of a professional. Talk to a counsellor, a church minister or a psychiatrist. By looking at the situation from the perspective of someone from the outside will help one assess the situation in a more objective way.

How a person handles the sad reality of divorce is a matter of personal choice. A healthy view on divorce is to treat it, not as a failure, but as a learning experience. Hopefully, the above suggestions may prove helpful to those who are going through the pain of separation.

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