How to look after your mental health during divorce

Looking after your mental health during a divorce is incredibly important. Divorce is a very stressful process that can lead to long term depression or other mental health issues if you don’t take care of yourself. It is vital that you see your GP if you need some help, but here are some small things that you can do to keep yourself healthy.

“Look after yourself”

It’s a very general phrase that you will hear often during your divorce, but it is so important that you do. Looking after yourself means treating yourself as if you are your own best friend. Get to bed on time, avoid any stressful situations or people that you can avoid, eat properly and get some exercise. Take ten minutes out of each day to go out for a walk, or sit and read a book so you have some “you time” that is separate from everything else that is going on.

If you are a parent or a carer you may feel selfish putting yourself first, but this feeling is misguided. You can’t care properly for anyone else unless you are feeling well.

Get some exercise

Exercise works wonders for improving your mood. It releases endorphins and gives you some time away from everything else. If you already exercise, then don’t sacrifice your normal routine to extra admin. If you don’t already exercise regularly, then it is time to start. Walking, swimming, dancing, yoga and cycling are all easily accessible. You might want to throw caution to the wind and take up something that will get the adrenaline pumping as well, such as climbing or water sports.

Find the positive

There are many different techniques that you can use to “focus on the positive.” Have a read around some different articles and find what will work for you. Some people like to note down one positive thing that happened during the day, just before they sleep, others will practise mindfulness and “living in the moment.” You may not need a formal technique to take a moment to consider that having a quick pint with a friend, or watching your kid excel at something is a positive and that your life can be full of more positive things to come.

Talk about it

Bottling things up is the worst thing that you can do during a stressful time. Sharing your problems can be a big relief. Accept offers of help and invitations out. Make your co-workers aware of your situation and if you can’t find the right people to talk to, have some sessions with a counsellor.

Remember to see your GP as soon as you feel like you need extra help.