Here are some simple, and practical tips to help you manage stress during divorce:
Find Emotional Support:
Yes! Emotional support is SUPER important, especially for the men reading this who never ask for help, and never show vulnerability!
It takes enormous COURAGE to ask for help, and it certainly does NOT make you less of a man.
Emotional support doesn’t necessarily mean counselling or therapy, but it does mean you have to talk!
You can do this by connecting with friends, family, or support groups specifically for men, to share your feelings and experiences. If you don’t talk your stress builds up, the crazy thoughts in your head have no where to go, and no one to challenge them. You can end up feeling like you are out of control. Talking really does help!
To create a sense of emotional support means that you have the feeling of belonging, of being understood, of being a part of something. Back in the day before therapy was thing, this is how people worked through their challenges, by connecting with others.
Self-care is not just for women. And it certainly is not overindulgence of alcohol, drugs or sex. These are harmful distraction techniques, and ultimately will make you sick and/or unhappy. Taking you down the path of self-destruction!
True self care is making time for activities like exercise, meditation, or hobbies. Things that you enjoy, things that get the natural endorphins going. Research has shown that exercise does way more than simply make you look better. More importantly it makes you feel better. The people I work with who do regular exercise find this is the best thing to keep their stress at bay.
Regular exercise could mean taking your dog for a brisk walk, playing golf, or throwing the ball around with your mates or kids if you have them.
Self-care can also mean taking time off from work, booking in a massage, seeing your doctor or dentist for those long overdue check-ups, even just spending quality time with your pets with no other distractions.
It can also be ensuring you get enough rest and sleep, booking in a massage, or simply spending time in nature.
Isolating yourself for extended periods is not helpful. For short periods of time, yes, for sure, a bit of peace and quiet, time for you is fantastic. But if this continues too long it can lead to anxiety and depression.
These simple things can really make a difference to your wellbeing. Take the time to feel into your body and ask what does it really need from you?
Don’t let your anger and hurt get in the way
Many of the men I work with are struggling with their ex-partner, and particularly with the co-parenting plan (or lack of one).
I get it, this is one of the hardest parts of ending a relationship. BUT the worst thing you can do is retaliate with anger. By doing this you are fueling the fire. You are giving your ex-partner more reasons to NOT co-operate with you, and to not finalise co-parenting plans.
Making decisions based on anger is rarely going to turn out the way you want it to. It might feel good in the moment, but later it is often tinged with regret, and thoughts of “who have I become?” – just so you know, I give this advice to women too!
Don’t give up
If your ex-partner is preventing you from seeing your children, or has alienated your children from you (known as parental alienation), do not give up!
What you do now will matter.
Your children do need you, they may not realise it yet but they will eventually, as long as you are steady and consistent. I once saw a video by a 28 year old woman who finally realised all the lies her mother had told! It was a disaster for the mum, and a relief for the dad, but they had some work to do to rebuild that relationship.
If there is no legal reason for you not to contact your kids, then reach out on special occasions, or when your heart desires (don’t go overboard though!), letting your kids know you exist and you love them will go a long way to helping mend those bridges.
Many men in this particular situation get to a point where they do want to give up, on their children and themselves. If this is you please reach out for help. It may be from a support group of other men going through what you are, such as Dad’s in Distress, or a therapist, you can also reach out to me.
Consider Professional Help:
Reach out to therapists or counselors for guidance in processing your emotions.
If you are always angry, if you are raging at your ex-partner and struggling with the kids, if you are crying, and finding it difficult to focus at work, and especially if you are having thoughts of suicide, then you need to seriously consider professional help.
If you have had a bad therapeutic experience in the past, don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need. Not all therapists are alike, and it may take a few to find the one that works for you.
Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being during this challenging time.
If you’d like more personalized support, during this process, please feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me. I’m here to assist you in finding your path to a fulfilling life after divorce.
Together, we can navigate this journey to a brighter future.
Join the free, and private FB group “Divorce Separation and a little bit of hope”
You may also like to download the free ebook “Breakup to Breakthrough” which includes advice from 5 divorce professionals.