Divorce is stressful. For most, the prospect of divorce conjures many common emotions: anger, mistrust, doubt, sadness, sense of loss, lack of control, fear of the future -- and these are just a few. We all fear the unknown, and those going through divorce often see it akin to a great celestial Black Hole; we wonder how we will get to the other side. We must remember that all these emotions and fears are normal and to be expected.
We as divorce professionals will tell you that divorce is a process, and that we will help you navigate the process. Collaborative Divorce professionals encourage a team approach – utilizing experts who work holistically to guide you and your spouse legally, financially, and emotionally. This team approach can make the process easier on you and your family, as well as promote a peaceful post-divorce path going forward.
As you work through the process, maintaining your physical, social, and emotional health is paramount. Here are a few tips and resources to help you stay healthy and positive (of course, these suggestions are just that; you’ll find what works best for you in your situation).
Get outside and into nature
Walk; hike; spend time in parks; in the woods, or on the beach. Long Island’s diverse landscape provides endless opportunities to discover the restorative natural world. In a world of computer and television screens, we’re not spending enough time outside in nature, and we suffer for it. Significant scientific research now confirms what we already know: getting outside makes us feel better. If you’d enjoy doing hikes with others in a community, regardless of your skill level, see https://www.longisland.com/hiking-clubs.html
Join a gym
Everyone benefits from healthy exercise, no matter our age or our abilities, and it’s never more important than during a divorce. Long Island is fortunate to have several YMCA locations that offer fitness classes for folks of all ages and interests. See https://ymcali.org/
Sign up to work in a community garden or create your own space. Getting your hands in the dirt can be amazingly therapeutic; and you are likely to meet interesting people, as well as supporting the growth of fresh, healthy food. See www.eatsmartnyli.com/.
Many people find mediation to be both relaxing and stress-busting. There’s a reason they call it a “practice” because it takes some. We are simply not used to sitting still and working to clear our minds of all the thoughts running through it (mostly the endless “to do” lists of our busy lives). Those that stick with meditation find it richly rewarding. It’s easy to try the highly rated “Headspace” app on your phone or tablet. See www.headspace.com/.
Explore hobbies, both new and old
Listen to music, create crafts, build a workshop.
Try something new
Sign up for a class. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cooking, wine tasting, or philosophy. Do that thing you feel like you’ve put off for too long.
Spend time with friends and family
Divorce can make you feel lonely or isolated. It’s important to maintain relationships with friends and family who will support you with their companionship and conversation. Friends who help us focus on a positive future tend to be more helpful than ones who keep us mired in the past. If you’re not comfortable talking with those in your inner circle, reach out to any one of a number of local support groups. You’re not alone in your feelings
Think of the divorce process as a journey forward -- and a journey often leads to discovery of new things and new ways of looking at things. Yes, divorce is the end of a marriage, but it’s also the opportunity for a new beginning.
The Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals promote these ideas. The attorneys, financial specialists, and mental health experts on our team take a holistic, healthy approach to human relationships, their conflict, and their resolution. The Collaborative approach recognizes that when humans avoid litigation and work together, conflict can be worked through, durable agreements can be formed, and divorcing couples and their families can come out on the other side with the ability to move forward in their post-divorce lives.
Written by David Filer, Esq.