The decision to divorce can produce an emotional shock to your system. This is true whether you are the one who decided to seek the divorce or it was your spouse’s decision that comes as a complete surprise to you.
The emotional chaos of the moment can be overwhelming. However, Psychology Today offers some tips to help you cope with it effectively.
1. Hold off making any major decisions
A heightened emotional state can negatively affect your judgment. Do not start any negotiations with your spouse within the first few days of the decision, and do not act on any impulses you may have to get back at him or her.
2. Find ways to calm yourself
The decision to divorce, whether it was your decision or your spouse’s, can result in fear and anxiety. Figure out a way to calm yourself so you can think rationally about what comes next. This may mean staying with friends or family for a while or seeking counseling to help you find clarity.
3. Stick to your normal routine to the extent possible
Your decision to divorce does not make your normal responsibilities go away, and focusing on your usual work or chores can help you set aside your emotions, at least temporarily. It is also important to maintain a routine as much as possible if you have children because your decision to divorce will also throw them into emotional turmoil.
4. Practice self-care
Rather than turning to destructive habits to self-soothe, make sure that you eat healthy, well-balanced meals and get plenty of sleep.
Divorce is a trauma with life-altering implications for you, your spouse and your children, if applicable. Nevertheless, coping with the decision within the first few days can set the stage for becoming more resilient as the process moves forward.