Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Divorce or Separation
Divorce, separation and relationship breakdown is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life so it’s hardly surprising that it can take its toll on your mental and physical health.
Changing from what was a stable known home life and going into the unknown can be scary even if you wanted the relationship to end.
The number and variety of things you need to sort out as a result of the separation can also feel overwhelming and just when you thought you understood what you needed to do next something else derails your progress. It can at times feel as though your life is spiralling out of control.
It will all settle down in the end but it can take time and patience and an understanding of the steps you need to take.
A first good practical step to take is to arrange a meeting with a mediator. You will have an opportunity to talk about the things that are most important to you and be able to start to develop a plan to gather together the information you need to start negotiating with your ex. Things like what will happen to the children, where are we going to live and what about money.
Mediators are skilled and expert in understanding the emotional impact of relationship breakdown but unlike standard counselling, they also understand the legal financial and practical decisions you need to make to be able to move on with your life. You can book an appointment here.
Research shows that having an understanding and some control over your destiny will minimise the impact on your mental health, but if you feel things are spinning out of control, there are other organisations that will be able to support you through these difficult times. The NHS is a good place to start and will provide access and information on their services and others that will be able to help.
It isn’t a case of choosing one over the other but you may find that this emotional support, whilst you are going through mediation to reach settlement, might provide you with a good outlet for what is an intensely emotional experience.
Taking Care Of Your Children’s Mental Health
Divorce or separation is a highly stressful and emotional experience for you and your ex-partner, but it can also turn your child’s world upside down.
Children will often have feelings of loss, anger and anxiety about how their lives are going to change. They may experience emotional and behavioural problems, and it can affect how they are performing at school.
It’s important to note however that staying together for the sake of the children and continuing the conflict that they may be witnessing at home can be just as detrimental. Children that grow up in high-conflict homes can also experience many problems due to the constant conflict, stress and unhappiness they experience.
The good news is that there are ways you can influence the impact of divorce or separation on your children, such as considering family mediation instead of heading straight to court. Family mediation is quicker, less stressful and less expensive than going to court and it allows you to control your family’s future, instead of a judge. Studies have also found that parents who attend family mediation rather than court after divorce have significantly better long-term relationships with their children.