How To Deal With Stress And Depression During A Divorce

People who have had the sad misfortune of experiencing a divorce will tell you for a fact that the entire process is not a pleasant one. In fact, the experience tends to leave an indelible scar on the lives of people that can take years to heal. Going through a divorce or separation is quite a test, regardless of the reasons for the breakup, the consequences of which can be underlying issues of depression.

Depression is caused by traumatic life events.

People don’t usually fall into depression out of the blue. Like most experts will tell you, if you are depressed, there is definitely a reason for it. In general terms, depression falls into two broad categories: situational depression and clinical depression.

Situational depression is also known as an adjustment disorder, which is caused by negative changes in our mood. It is often temporary and stops when our mood improves. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a more severe medical condition of a prolonged depressive state.

Divorced couples or couples going through a divorce process normally experience situational depression, which gets better in time as they adjust to their new status. Clinical depression is also a possibility, especially for those who have gone through a very nasty breakup and a prolonged legal process. Some people exhibit the following behaviors when going through a divorce:

  • Poor concentration at work
  • Ignoring work or family responsibilities
  • Avoiding social gatherings
  • Exhibiting aggressive behavior

Regardless of your current state of being, you can take certain steps to deal with the stress and depression during a divorce.

While you may not be able to do much to prevent the stress of divorce, you can take concrete steps to adjust and cope with the expected negativities. Here are some very important steps in dealing with stress and depression.


#1. Expect a difficult process.

For starters, train your mind to accept the fact that the entire process will not be smooth sailing from start to finish. Preparing yourself mentally for the challenges ahead will toughen you up emotionally and psychologically. Issues like child custody, asset division, and other related issues may drag on for a significant period of time. In most cases, the tougher you expect the process to be, the easier it becomes.


#2. Understand your emotions.

You may feel different conflicting emotions, and that is fine, no need to be alarmed. For some individuals, it is natural to feel happy and sad at the same time, and these feelings can be intense, especially in isolation. Feelings of anxiety about your future may also come into play, but you need to accept these feelings for what they are. Venturing into the unknown after spending considerable time with your ex is not an easy prospect.   These feelings will lessen with time as you adjust to your new reality.


#3 Take a break from work or avoid any strenuous activity if you can.

Taking a break from work or other strenuous activities will help you cope with the stress of divorce. Don’t be overly critical of yourself if you are not able to perform at an optimal level at work. This is why it is important to give yourself time to heal emotionally, and avoiding work is one way to achieve that.


#4 Reach out to friends.

Walking the path of divorce can be such a lonely road, but you don’t have to do it alone. Reaching out to family and a network of friends during this period can be a lifesaver. If you have no friends or you’ve recently relocated to a new city with few acquaintances, you can reach out to a support group set up with the sole aim of providing support to individuals going through a divorce. Avoid isolating yourself at all costs, as this will further increase your stress levels, thereby inducing a depressive state that will be hard to deal with.


#5. Pay attention to your health.

It is easy to forget about your state of health when filing divorce papers and negotiating a breakup. Paying attention to your health is a huge step in dealing with stress and depression. Being healthy involves eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep. Avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs is also important to safeguard your physical and emotional state. In addition to all of this, try not to make any major decisions until after the divorce process is over, as such decisions may lead to major changes that may unsettle you negatively.


#6. Avoid Conflicts as much as possible.

Going through a breakup is already hard enough. Don’t make it worse by engaging in unnecessary conflicts with your former partner during and after the divorce proceedings. If both of you need to keep in touch (especially if children are involved), try to be as civil as possible and do not prolong conversations more than necessary. If conversations become confrontational, learn to walk away or end the call. You can pick up from where you left off when you are in a calmer state.


#7. Pursue other interests.

This can be the perfect time to start that hobby you always wanted to pursue, or go on that trip you always wanted to take. It could also be a chance to go back to doing something you used to enjoy before you met your ex. Whatever it may be, dedicating some of your time towards actualizing it will take your mind away from the painful experience of ending your marriage. Sure, the pain won’t go away overnight, but indulging yourself in other interests will give you a new lease on life. It will also afford you the opportunity to make new friends and learn new things along the way.


#8. Use a positive affirmation to your advantage.

The fact that your marriage has ended or is about to end doesn’t make you the worst person in the world. Thinking less of yourself will only make you feel worse. Harness the power of positive affirmation by always saying positive things about yourself even during the bad times. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the more you keep saying good things about yourself, the more you will begin to believe what you are saying. Positive words induce positive feelings, and positive feelings counteract depression and relieve stress.


#9 Use online divorce services.

One of the major factors that leads to stress and depression during divorce is the financial impact of the process. In many states, divorce cases cost a lot, especially if both couples are unable to settle out of court. Losing your marriage is bad enough, but you don’t have to end up a financial wreck either. This is why online divorce services are becoming more popular by the day. If you use an online divorce service, you can save yourself from the stress and financial anxiety that you would have to experience if you go through a traditional divorce.

Find more about online divorce here:

You can reduce the negative impact of divorce by applying the tips outlined in this article. To save yourself from the hassle and expense of hiring divorce attorneys, you can also use online divorce platforms to file divorce papers in your state. Online platforms are legal and inexpensive. They also offer vital support services to help you cope during and after the divorce process.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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