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Seven Steps to Keep Your Sanity During a Divorce

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Going through a divorce can be overwhelming in more ways than one: your emotions will go up and down like a roller coaster for several months and you will feel pulled in many directions all at once. You also may have to sell your home and other property, find a new place to live, and adjust to being a single parent. Divorce can take a devastating toll on your financial, emotional and social health, but there are several ways to cope with the changes and instability:

1) Take Time to Grieve

A divorce is a loss and therefore requires grieving. It is important to take time to go through this grieving process and acknowledge your feelings. Remember that in time of divorce, friends and family will take sides, so not only be ready to let go of your spouse, but also of some friendships. This will add pain to the separation process but is a necessary step towards your new life.

2) Build an Emotional and Social Support Network

This is a crucial time to rely on your loved ones, whether it means your family and/or your friends, and search for the emotional support you need. Surround yourself with people who will let you share your feelings and offer a leaning shoulder without judging your situation or decisions. Make the time to go out to dinner or a movie. Laugh, enjoy the present moment and the good company. Remember that laughter is great medicine.

3) Get Professional Help

If you feel that the support from your family or friends is not enough, seek out professional help. Relationship counselors can teach you coping skills for each situation you will be struggling with during the divorce process. A counselor will also help you bring the focus back on you, and help you distance yourself from your ex-spouse. Reconnecting with your individuality and identifying your own needs and desires is very important, especially if you were married for a long time.

4) Get Moving

It is not essential to join a gym to add exercise to your daily life, but it is crucial that you take care of yourself physically. Divorce is considered one of life's most traumatic events, and its toll on the body and the mind can have devastating and long-lasting effects. Exercise releases endorphins and helps you decrease stress levels. It also helps you sleep better, which will improve your mental focus during the day, at work and at home.

5) Take it One Day at a Time and Remember Who You Are

Thinking about the future can be overwhelming, especially when so many factors have to be considered and your life path seems uncertain. By breaking large steps into smaller steps, you can get closer to your goals without the increased emotional toll and stress. In addition, divorce is not only an end but also a new beginning -- the perfect opportunity to remember the person you were before the marriage. Consider reconnecting with your old hobbies or find new ones that will make you happy.

6) Be Strong for Your Children

By taking all the necessary steps mentioned above, you will become a better parent, emotionally and physically stronger. Remember that a divorce can be very difficult for children too, and they will need your emotional support. Children can be a great motivation to pulling yourself together, helping you focus on a new and happy life with them.

7) Reduce the Emotional and Financial Toll by Hiring a Divorce Mediator

Going through the divorce process does not have to be excruciating and if you and your spouse think that you can work things amicably, then choose a divorce mediator instead of hiring separate attorneys. Besides reducing your financial expenses, divorce mediation will mitigate friction between spouses as the mediator encourages communication and compromise to reach a consensus regarding the division of assets and debts, child custody and visitation schedule, child support, and spousal support, in a reasonable amount of time. A shorter divorce process will help you start the healing process sooner.