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Top 10 Tips on How to Stay Mentally Healthy During The Divorce Process
Written By: Dustin R. Kebre, MA LMFT
Divorce for many is a dirty word. The reality is, divorce is an essential option for couples who have determined that they can healthier individuals apart rather than together. Here is a list of the top 10 tips on how to stay mentally healthy during the process of divorce.
- Find an appropriate outlet for expressing emotions. – It is important to operate under premise, “whatever gets repressed gets expressed!” Emotions can drive persons to become irrational and sometimes delusional. It is never a good idea to make decisions in an emotional state. Emotions often manifest in physical symptoms and mental anguish such as headaches, ulcers, anxiety or depression. These emotions can also produce harmful or detrimental behaviors Having a therapist to discuss difficult emotions that are natural to the divorce process is extremely important for ones mental stability.
- Self care – Even an amicable divorce IS stressful. Change in itself is difficult for most human beings. For this reason, taking care of oneself is a not a luxury it is a necessity. Going to the gym, a short vacation, a manicure or pedicure, or night out with friends are healthy outlets. Self-care is described as any behavior you do for yourself that allows you to have fun and de-stress from the reality of day to day life.
- Be true to yourself – Divorce can represent a time of instability and feelings of loss or failure. This can cause individuals to ask questions about themselves such as “Who am I outside of my marriage?” It is important we find trust in who we are and believe in ourselves. Our partner may not want to be married to us anymore; however, that does not mean I am not lovable or that I am not worthy. Maintaining your sense of self is essential for maintaining positive self-esteem and avoid developing a mental health disorder.
- Balance – Any concept in Psychology theory talks about balance. There are six areas we need to be balanced in and they have to do with the “Holistic-Self” referring to the whole body. Our physical, mental, social, vocational, emotional and spiritual self all need to be in balance. What are we doing to take care of ourselves physically. Are we eating right, working out, etc…? What are we doing to process our emotions? Are we balanced mentally? Do we have the right social crowd or are we too social? Is our job balanced or do we work too much? Spiritually are we living our lives within our core values? For most people the top 3 core values are dignity, honesty and respect.
- Positive self talk – If anyone says they don’t have an internal dialogue, they are simply not in tune with themselves. We all have a inner voice and it can really be a mechanism of internal pain if we feed into negativity. We need to be mindful and focus on controlling this inner voice and combat negative thoughts. We need to reframe negative statements we tell ourselves into positive ones. The more we can be our own cheerleaders and find positivity even in stressful situations the happier we are.
- Following secondary vs. primary thoughts – Primary thoughts in an emotional situation can be very dangerous. As previously stated, we know that in a highly emotional state we can become irrational and sometimes delusional. For this reason allowing our primary thoughts to pass by and allowing secondary thoughts to come to our forefront gives ourselves a higher probability in making a more rational and wiser decision.
- Keep your ego in check – “Our ego is our enemy!” Your ego in the context of this blog refers to your inner insecurities. Anytime you question yourself or put yourself down that’s your ego. We have to remember we are our own worst enemies.
- Surround yourself with people who truly love and support you. This falls into the category of self-care. In a time of loss and change we can benefit from support by people who care about us. They can help normalize the process and help with your transition.
- Forgiveness – People generally have a hard time with this concept. Forgiveness isn’t for anyone else other than you. You forgive because you recognize that the feelings you hold on to from the people that have violated or betrayed us hurts us in the end.
- Letting go – In order to forgive we must let go. This is easier said than done and doesn’t happen until we forgive; however, when we let go of emotions, thoughts and feelings that are harmful we can get closer to truly being mentally stable and happy.
Hopefully these 10 concepts were helpful. If you would like to read more please visit www.bocaratoncounselingcenter.com and click on the blog section. Thank you!