Tips for Managing Mental Fatigue During a Divorce
Going through a divorce is not easy for anyone. Even when you are going through an “easy” divorce and you put on a smile, it can take quite a toll on you. This is true even in the best circumstances. It can affect you emotionally, physically, and mentally. Often, the mental fatigue that you start to feel goes untreated. This could mean that you start to develop problems with your memory or decision-making skills, for example. If you are feeling the mental strain of divorce, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, there are some things you can do about it.
Realize Your Reactions Are Normal
When you are in the midst of a divorce, you will experience the same normal types of reactions that other people face. Whether this is becoming more irritable around other people in your life, not being able to focus, etc., it is important to acknowledge that it is happening. By acknowledging that it is normal and that it happens to everyone who goes through a divorce to some degree, it helps to give you a better handle on your situation. You aren’t “breaking apart”. You are going through what others go through in these situations.
Don’t be judgmental of yourself. Because you are going through a lot right now, it means that you might find yourself forgetting things or losing focus. It’s because you have so much on your mind and your brain isn’t getting the time it needs to rest. You are going through trauma, and your brain is not prioritizing the “little things” that you would normally remember without any issue.
It’s also important to learn to let go of what other people might think about the divorce. Your friends and other family members weren’t part of the marriage, so you can’t let what they think about the situation affect how you feel about yourself and the situation. As soon as you can acknowledge this, it can help you start to feel better and move on to the next step in the process.
Analyze the Situation and Create a Plan
For the most part, people tend to like predictability. Divorce throws that for a loop, and it can cause many people to spiral downward, worrying about what comes next in their life to the point where they have a hard time functioning. When there is something unknown, it causes more fear. The human brain likes to project all of the possible scenarios that could happen, and even worse, it often likes to focus on the worst possible outcome, even if it’s highly unlikely. Naturally, this causes more fear and stress.
It’s time to figure out what the new normal will be for you.
When you can figure things out in a structured manner, it could help to remove some of the worry and anxiety that you are feeling about the situation. Dissecting what happened and what is happening, and truly understanding it will help to reduce the body and mind’s natural tendency for worry, nervousness, and anxiousness when it comes to the unknown. The brain likes to have some semblance of order and it likes to sort things out. By actively examining the divorce, it helps to put things into order, which can help to reduce the feelings of being distracted that you have been suffering.
During this stage, it’s about looking at things from a practical point of view. Think about the details. What will your finances look like after you are divorced and what does that mean for you? Where will you be living after you are divorced? What will your relationships with other people look like and how would you like them to look? By starting to get a handle on these aspects of your life, even if you aren’t certain of the answers to all of the questions you have yet, it can help to calm your mind.
Understanding Your Needs
You will also want to rank your needs. First, consider your physiological needs. These are the most basic and important elements and include things like food, water, shelter, living situation. You want to get these things squared away first. Once you know that you will have your basic needs met, you can move on to the next type of need that you have to consider.
Second, you have to think about your safety needs. Not all relationships that end are safe. If you were in an abusive or violent relationship, you need to be sure that you are in a safe location. After the safety needs are met, you will want to consider your support system. Who else is in your life that is part of your support system? This might include your kids, your parents, siblings, friends, etc. Having a strong support system, and learning to rely on them, is important.
Your self-esteem needs must be met, as well. How are you feeling about your accomplishments and achievements? Often, people think about their self-esteem and success from the standpoint of their career. However, when you are going through a divorce, it can bring up feelings of inadequacy that have nothing to do with your career or anything outside of the relationship. It’s important to refocus and work on your self-esteem without letting an ending relationship dictate how you feel.
Finally, you need to consider self-actualization. This is your ability to reach your full potential in all aspects of your life. You will want to start thinking about how you can reach a more fulfilling life during and after your divorce.
Make Sense of Your Situation with an Attorney
If you are feeling overwhelmed and confused, you aren’t alone. However, you can get some help when you work with a divorce attorney. Although your attorney won’t be able to help you with self-actualization, they can help you to get a better understanding of your needs and how you will have them met while you are going through the divorce. They can let you know what will happen during each step of the process, which will help to remove some of the fear and doubt that you might have, as well. Always take the time to find a quality attorney even when you are going through a relatively simple divorce.