Even if your divorce is amicable, ending a marriage is never easy. It’s completely normal to feel a wide range of emotions when you’re going through a divorce. From sadness to anger, denial, grief, stress, guilt, and frustration to elation and relief. Identifying your emotions and knowing how to work through them can help ensure you are able to navigate the aftermath of divorce in a healthy manner — and with less stress. While the emotional process that comes with ending a marriage is different for everyone, here are some tips on healing after a divorce:

1. Know That it is Okay to Grieve the Loss of Your Marriage

Whether the decision was ultimately yours, your spouse’s, or it was mutual, grief is one of the most normal emotions you may face after divorce. Ending a marriage is a huge loss that often feels like a death. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those who go through divorce to experience all five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Allow yourself to go through each stage and know that the grief you’re feeling will pass.

2. Take the Time to Process and Manage Your Emotions

Learning how to cope emotionally after a divorce can be a challenge. However, in order to move forward, you will need to make sense of your emotions and deal with them in healthy ways. Start by becoming aware of the emotions you feel and allow them to be there. Then, ask yourself questions about the emotions including, what brought that particular emotion up and what is it trying to tell you?

Instead of getting caught up in the thoughts you are creating about the emotion, bring your focus back to the emotion and where you feel it in your body. This can help you tame the emotion and separate it from who you are. Once you have separated the emotion from yourself, you can validate and process it.

3. Find the Emotional Support You Need To Aid in Healing After a Divorce

You don’t have to go through the divorce process alone. Find a person you trust to talk with about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Determine the type of support you need to get through the emotional process during and after divorce — and whether it can be provided by talking with friends and family, or it’s best to have the guidance of a professional.

A professional such as a divorce coach, a member of the clergy, or a therapist can provide you with the tools you need when you’re learning how to cope emotionally after divorce. Many people can also benefit from taking part in a support group with people who have also been through the same experience and have learned how to deal with emotions after divorce. Seeking the type of emotional support you need is a personal decision that can be vital to your healing process.

4. Practice Self-Compassion

After a divorce, it can be all too easy to be hard on yourself — and it’s crucial to practice self-compassion as you work through your emotions. While people may come and go in your life, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important you will ever have. Practicing self-compassion means being understanding of yourself, being self-aware, and taking care of yourself. “Mindfulness” is also a critical component of self-compassion.

5. Focus on Self-Care

Ending a marriage can be overwhelming and exhausting. From the legal, financial, emotional, and logistical aspects of your divorce, you might feel drained. Practicing self-care is key to managing your emotions, reducing your stress level, and healing the emotional wounds of divorce. While emotionally recovering from a divorce can often be a lengthy process, it’s essential to take the time you need. Stress and rest are common companions so give yourself the rest you need. Eat well and exercise however you can.

Be patient with yourself when you’re figuring out how to heal after divorce and do things that make you happy. Whether it’s joining a class, participating in a hobby, reading a book, or meditating, spending just a few minutes every day doing something you enjoy can make all the difference. By caring for yourself, you are putting yourself in a better position to care for your loved ones.

6. Consider the Collaborative Divorce Process

Divorce brings a major change to your life, but there are some ways you can make the emotional process of ending your marriage easier. Instead of litigation, you might consider using the collaborative divorce process. This can help you to conserve your emotional resources and reduce the conflict that is often associated with divorce.

Significantly, when you use the collaborative process, you may include a divorce coach or other mental health professional in the team of professionals you assemble. They can help you identify emotional triggers, give you the tools you need to manage your emotions, and help you understand how to cope emotionally after divorce.

Contact an Experienced Minnesota Divorce Attorney

Divorce is always difficult. However, you can learn how to cope emotionally after divorce and make the healing after a divorce a little easier by using the collaborative divorce process. Divorce and family law attorney Louise Livesay has been dedicated to helping clients in the Twin Cities area resolve their divorce cases respectfully and peacefully for over two decades using alternative dispute resolution methods such as the collaborative process. We welcome you to contact us online for a consultation or by calling 651-294-2338.