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How to Manage Stress During a Divorce

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Divorce can be a stressful situation. And, of course, managing stress is critical during your divorce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a report on managing stress; divorcing individuals should familiarize themselves with this report as they proceed through the process of separating from their spouse.

What are Some of the Symptoms of Stress?

Stress can express itself in many ways. According to the CDC, the following include some of the symptoms of stress:

  • Numbness and lack of emotion;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Unusual and unreasonable anger;
  • Alcohol and drug use;
  • Feelings of shock and disbelief;
  • Worry and anxiousness about the future;
  • Overwhelming feelings of powerlessness;
  • Uncontrollable sobbing and crying;
  • Difficulty sleeping, possibly including nightmares;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Trouble with decision making;
  • Reliving the stressor event over and over;
  • Lack of interest in the things you used to do;
  • Physical problems such as stomach issues, back pain and headaches;
  • Depression and sadness; and
  • Generally bad mood, including irritability and tension.

What Can I Do to Help Manage Stress?

There are things you can do to help manage your stress. In general, these steps are all about taking care of yourself. Specifically, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Seek out support. Do not try to bear the burden of stress on your own. Support from a clergyperson, a family member a friend, a partner, a counselor or a doctor can help lighten the burden of stress. Everyone needs a sympathetic ear, someone he or she can trust.
  • Do not isolate yourself. Sometimes stress can make you want to simply be alone. It is very important that you reach out to family and friends. Get out of the house, and do something fun. Plan a fun activity with family and friends.
  • Try to follow your normal routine. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Maintain your normal work hours. Continue any regular social events, like a bowling team or softball league.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs in excess. This may make you feel better temporarily and seem like a fix. However, alcohol and drugs will only create additional problems and stress in the long term. Alcohol and drugs are not the solution to managing your stress.
  • Take time to take care of yourself. This can include a number of things, such as:
    • Eat well. It is important to eat a well-balanced healthy diet, even if you are not hungry;
    • Get regular exercise. Exercise is not only good for you physically, it will also help improve your mood and reduce stress;
    • Sleep is very important – make sure to take steps to ensure you get eight hours of sleep a night; and
    • Be kind to yourself – you know what helps you relax;
    • Get your mind off your problems by staying active. It is important to cope with stress in a positive way. Helping others in the community or an elderly neighbor can be a positive distraction.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are thinking about a divorce, it is essential that you are being advised by an experienced family law attorney. Contact Fort Lauderdale attorney Sandra Bonfiglio to discuss your situation.

Resource:

cdc.gov/features/CopingWithStress/index.html

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