Going through a divorce is traumatic, even when you’ve decided that this is the best thing for you to do. On top of ending a marriage that might have lasted for many years, you must now begin the process of separating your life from your spouse’s. This can be especially difficult for those with mental illnesses such as OCD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Although it might seem hard right now, it is possible to move forward after your divorce in ways that help you feel better about your new lifestyle. Following a few self-care strategies helps you cope and make decisions throughout the divorce process.

Create a Support Network

It can sometimes seem as though people are taking sides during a divorce. You might have mutual friends who no longer know who to support, and this is perfectly fine. Instead of leaning on someone who might relay things that you say to your ex, you are better off looking for people that are completely supportive. Family members are often good people to turn to when you need to talk. If you are struggling with finding people to add to your support network, then consider speaking to a counselor who can help you work through your emotions. Be sure to keep up on therapy and medication during this time, and see if you can get trusted allies to check up on you to make sure you are keeping up with existing treatments.

Work Out a Fair Divorce Agreement

Dividing up your belongings is hard, and you may now be facing new challenges in life such as living on a single income. One way to cope during your divorce is to make sure that you have what you need to be successful as a single person. Work with a divorce lawyer to achieve a fair settlement. A divorce lawyer can handle most of the direct interaction and negotiating so you don’t have to get into an emotionally compromising situation. While you don’t want to leave the other person with nothing, you do need to make sure that you get your fair share of what you’ve built over the years.

Take Care of Your Basic Needs

Proper rest, a healthy diet and exercise are all important for helping you to feel your best. It might be hard to get up and head to the gym after a sleepless night, but all of these things work together to improve how you feel. For example, exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood, and working out helps you sleep better at night.

Develop a New Routine

Everything can feel slightly off during the first several weeks after a divorce. This is typically because you need to settle into a new routine that doesn’t include a partner for now. Embrace this as an opportunity to develop new habits and explore interests that you might have had to let go. Taking a class or diving into a hobby is a great way to move forward.
Divorce is never easy, but there are ways to make sure that the things you are going through lead to positive changes in your life. Eventually, the dust will clear, and you’ll realize that you have emerged from your divorce stronger and ready to thrive.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan