4 Ways to Reduce Divorce Related Stress (For You and Your Kids)

Coping with divorce can be difficult and stressful. Once the divorce process begins, even if you were the one to file, a new level of shock, disbelief, and/or grief may leave you (and the children) disoriented and out of sorts for a while.

Although there is no way to totally avoid the stress that comes with divorce, you can develop tools to minimize the disruptions in your life, and the lives of your children, and enable them and yourself to feel more secure during the transition to life after divorce.

Here are four ways to reduce the stress of divorce and to feel more positive about the future:

  1. Resist the Urge to Blame

You are likely feeling angry with your spouse, and no doubt hold him or her accountable for the demise of the relationship. That is perfectly normal. But you will do yourself a huge favor by limiting the blame game. Give yourself a day to be really mad. Okay, maybe a good month or two. And then remember that your children are looking to you for comfort and assurance in this difficult time. Developing a positive, helpful attitude goes a long way. So does developing a comfortable daily routine for the children.

  1. Involve the Children in the Changes

Whether it is you or your spouse who stays or goes, the household dynamic will be different in both the old and the new digs, but regardless, life itself does not need to collapse like a house of cards. One effective way to avoid overwhelming family is to allow the children to play active roles in creating a new home life, both in the old home and the new home. Depending on their age, encourage them to take on roles and responsibilities that give them a sense that they are contributing (although you might first need to ask them to stop using their smartphone while you are developing this concept with them). Older children can mow the lawn, do the dishes, and help with cleaning chores, while younger children can help pick out groceries or water plants.

  1. Expand Your Family and Social Circle

When a marriage ends it is natural to fixate on the loss. Instead of feeling diminished, put some good energy into expanding in other ways. For those of us lucky enough to have relatives in the area, reconnect or spend more time with grandparents, or aunts and uncles. It is also a terrific time to reach out to friends with whom you may not have spent much time with in awhile. They can be a source of social and emotional support to you and the children as you all adjust to your new circumstances. You may even be able to hit them up to help out so you can get some “me” time.

  1. Keep Things Simple for the Children

A regular schedule is good for both you and the children. To prevent the kids from feeling like frequent flyers while shuttling between two households, minimize the amount of packing that must be done. Work with your spouse to ensure that the kids have most everything they need in each household. This will also help keep things simpler for the parents, not needing to worry about forgotten toothbrushes or a clean pair of socks.  

As I stated earlier, stress during divorce is inevitable, and a positive outlook, reaching out to friends and family, and reinforcing the children’s sense of safety and security, goes a long way in helping minimize anger, anxiety, and depression.

If you have any question on the subject of divorce or custody, or any other legal matter, especially concerning business interests, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with Ken Cohen.