Surviving The Stress Of Divorce During Covid-19

The running joke (which isn’t so funny) of Covid-19 and “sheltering in place” is that couples are going to come out of this two ways..pregnant or divorcing. San Diego divorce industry professionals are experiencing increased case loads and some long for the break many of us are experiencing.

As someone who is gone through cancer and then a divorce while starting a business, I know first hand the havoc stress can play in our lives. When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 15 years ago, I was not surprised to learn I had cancer. I was about as stressed as you could be. 

I also know the loneliness of sleeping next to someone when resentment has become a bedmate.

If you find yourself in an untenable situation, I hope you’ll find some solace in these coping strategies for surviving the stress of divorce.

Therapist and grief counselor, Paula Shaw, author of the book “Grief…When Will This Pain Ever End” shares how stress manifests in our body and provides tools on ways to combat stress.  

I have always believed that Your issues show up in your tissues…and I’m not just talking about the ones in your Kleenex box. Seriously, I’m talking about the ones in your body. I believe that all mental and physical illness has its origin in unresolved emotional issues…usually grief, from some form of loss.Paula Shaw

  1. When faced with stress, ask yourself is the stress and the physical manifestations it may cause in your body worth it?
  2. Tap on the bone on the side of the eye for about three minutes.
  3. Form strong relationships with positive people. You are reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. Consider whether the people in your space contribute positively to your life.
  4. Walk away when you are angry. Do not enter into a fight with your amygdala brain.  
  5. When you are sad or depressed, allow yourself to be sad. Think of it like being in a body cast after being hit by and emotional Mack truck. Would I demand “x” of myself if I was in a body cast?
  6. Allow yourself to feel the feelings. Don’t push them down. Pushing down emotion and not working through it will have the experience manifest somehow in your body. I found journaling and the way my body felt was super helpful.
  7. Meditate, do Tai Chi, Pray
  8. Try breathing and other exercises including: Square Breathing, Balanced Breathing, ​EFT, PEP
  9. The Wim Hof Breathing Method is all the rage these days. By practicing the breathing exercises, you are releasing more energy, influencing your nervous system and changing various physiological responses. You are inducing voluntarily a short stress response which ultimately will lead to more resilience towards everyday stress, mentally and physiology and feeling more in control.
  10. My anchor during my own divorce was my yoga mat. Although I am very much missing practicing in a studio, I have laid down my mat in my living room and subscribed to www.DoYogaWithMe.com
  11. Take a Forest Bath widely practiced in Japan with numerous health benefits.
  12. When you go to bed every night, write down five things to be grateful for in a Gratitude Journal. This helps you spend your days looking for things to be grateful for.
  13. Find your place to catch the sunset. 
  14. Find a therapist or Divorce Coach – if you need help finding one, we have several we like and work with.

When I had cancer, the therapist I worked with specialized in oncology patients. She asked me to Identify my “happy place”. I knew I loved to take baths when I was stressed, sad or uncomfortable but I never connected the fact that it was at the place I went to “hide.” Now, my tub has an assortment of books, candles and bubble baths as well as a sign and a plant that have truly carved it out as my “happy place”. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Have friends you can call, join a support group, find and connect with other people who share your interests and seek out resources for anything that overwhelms you or might be an unmet need.