Going through a contentious divorce is likely to add stress and anxiety to your life. In all likelihood your marriage was already contentious before you filed for divorce. It is understandable that you might feel unfocused, exhausted, tired, angry, upset, depressed, and a whole host of other feelings that negatively impact your life in a variety of ways.
You might also find yourself questioning your ability to make sound decisions for yourself and your children. How do you re-ground yourself when you feel like things are out of control? Here are some suggestions on what to do:
1. View your soon-to-be ex-spouse as a difficult coworker or employee.
To help limit how much your emotions influence your communications with your ex, treat them the same way you would a coworker/employee who is difficult work with. When put in this type of situation at work, you tend to keep things professional and get to the point as quickly as possible without letting things get personal.
2. Make a list of divorce goals.
Write out a list of your priorities and the goals you want the divorce to accomplish. For instance, you may desire to be the custodial parent and have your children reside with you most of the time. If you were previously a stay-at-home parents, you can also include career goals such being able to obtain the necessary training to find a new job.
Having a list of priorities and goals can help you remain grounded the next time conflict in the divorce proceedings occurs. You can look at your list and ask yourself how the conflict will impact your goals. This list will help you focus your energy on what truly matters.
3. Establish a preferred method of communication.
When children are involved in a divorce, you will have to communicate with your soon-to-be-ex throughout the divorce process and long after. It is a good idea to establish how you want to communicate with the other parent.
For example, email could be a good choice if you need time to read and process their email before responding. Furthermore, emails can help alleviate and head off arguments that can arise when communicating via phone or text message.
4. Establish a safety zone.
It can be tempting to want to make yourself available 24/7 during the divorce. However, doing so will quickly drain your energy and your ability to manage the divorce. It is better to have a safety zone you can retreat to when you need a break.
You could set specific hours during which you will deal with divorce-related issues, and abstain from handling those issues outside of your set hours. This way, you are only working with the divorce when your mind and emotions are in a place to handle it. You could also turn off your smartphone in the evening to avoid unwanted calls and text messages from your ex.
5. Get counselling to create a judgment-free zone.
Counselling allows you to talk openly and freely about your divorce without having to worry about being judged. Having a safe place to discuss your feelings, emotions, and other aspects of divorce can be a huge stress and anxiety reliever.