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How are you feeling?

5 ways to manage your emotions during a divorce


Divorce is not a happy time, but we often forget that it is just a ‘time’ – a period in our lives which will be in our memory, but will not last forever. What you do and how you act during a divorce, however, can last for a very long time.

The problem stems from our emotions. When you can’t balance your head with your heart, measuring time goes out the window. An hour can feel like an eternity. Learning to manage a tumultuous period starts with tackling the way we feel about it, because it’s the emotions which drives your actions the most, and leaves logic on the side. Identifying and embracing the way we feel, whether you’re angry, fearful or grieving, can make a major impact on how you handle the proceedings of a divorce and the kind of relationship you will have with your former spouse. I will list the side effects of the negative emotions that divorce can lead to and offer a suggestion on how to handle them in the best way possible.

  1. Recklessness – ask your friends and family for assistance

It’s seen as a stereotype, but going from the routine of a marriage to being single can leave you confused and lead to some reckless behaviour. Divorcees will often feel they have lost a part of their identity which they want to rediscover. The freedom of being without a spouse is hard to adjust to. Before divorce proceedings start, approach friends and family you trust and ask for support. Think of who would be ashamed or disappointed in you if you went off the rails – then nip that possible outcome in the bud. The simplest acts of support can help you keep it together, from a regular lunch or coffee date, to assistance in organising your finances. By keeping a routine with others you care about, you will also be reminded that just because you are divorcing doesn’t mean there are no other people who love and care about you.

  1. Aggression – structure meeting times with your spouse

If you are dealing with any acrimony from the split, the consequent anger can lead to explosive confrontations. [Mantras to follow when you are feeling mad with someone] Whilst your anger may be justified, the reasons you have split with your partner can’t come in between important decisions such as splitting assets or sharing custody of your children. You have to make decisions that benefit both parties for the sake of fairness, and they are best not made for the sake of bitterness rather than practicality. By organising a regular meeting time with your spouse – with no other point of contact in that same time period – you can plan and reflect on what you want to say and ask for. The limits placed on meeting will also make you give more priority to the legal difficulties of divorce and not the personal ones. You will have no time to argue and this is for the best.

  1. Stress – keep a diary

The multiple sources of stress during a divorce are very overwhelming and possibly too big for some exercise or a creative outlet to solve. Many situations and scenarios which you need to consider will be running through your mind and they can’t simply be forgotten about. A good way to completely release your feelings is to write about them. (You can do this on your private and personal online journal when you are a member) You can then phrase your thoughts without the pressure of being in conversation with someone and it may even help you through some dilemmas by logging your thought processes. By keeping track of everything you go through, you can then look back at it and remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and there’s no chance of any repercussion since they are all contained in the diary. You can be as impassioned as you like to begin with, then start to restructure your thoughts in moments of peace. To see how far you have come, and to help coach yourself through the process use our time machine that will check in on you and help you to answer key questions that can aid in developing and shaping your future.

  1. Regret – …make a list!

Like a bucket list, a remedy for such a debilitating form of thought can come in the form of the less family-friendly invention, the F***-it List, historically favoured by Cheryl Cole after her malaria scare. Some may argue that the art of making lists actually stops us getting things done, but making a list of all the fun things you want to do can remind you that there’s more to life than what happened in the past. Create a digital to do list here that congratulates you as you get through each step. It is time to focus ahead, you only have the future. Marriage is often viewed as an ultimate goal because it is a ‘safe option’, but really it is anything but. Now is the time to remember the more ‘risqué’ passions and ambitions you once had, because you owe it to yourself to be excited for life again. Try to pick things that you wouldn’t mind doing alone to prove that you can be your own person. Lonely is different to being alone.

  1. Listlessness – a good health kick

Sometimes we are so upset, so emotionally driven, that passion actually gets displaced with the opposite.[How to reset your emotions and change your life] We become indifferent and lost for energy because other things have consumed so much of us. At these points, don’t force yourself to be social, because your lethargy will affect your enjoyment. Instead make a commitment to looking after and loving your body. Try to replace any junk food with fresh home-cooked meals, choose a form of exercise that interests you or that you can do without struggle (whether that’s a simple walk or high intensity gym workouts, team sports or extreme sports) and look into holistic treatments or therapies if you respond well to them. The more you invest in your well-being, the higher the chances are that you’ll rediscover your vim, vigour and vitality. You could even speak to one of our coaches for advice on the next steps and how to make the most of the new chapter of your life. Book in with one of our life coaches here.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.