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Mental Health: wellbeing during divorce

Article updated May 2024

Divorce can be a testing time for mental health. Detangling yours and your partner’s lives inevitably comes with an emotional toll while at the same time your energy and focus is absorbed by the necessary practicalities and negotiations of the divorce process.

When it’s hard to prioritise self care

With so much else to think about it’s understandable that finding time for self-care might not be top of your agenda.

And, even if you recognise the need to take good care of yourself, it’s not always easy to see the wood for the trees, particularly if you’re in the early stages of your divorce or things have become trickier to navigate than you hoped.

Hope for the future

The good news is that, even small acts of kindness towards yourself can help boost mental well-being.

Whether you’re simply making the effort to eat well to avoid feeling run down, dedicating a little time to gathering your thoughts and preparing for what’s next, or creating a routine that helps you avoid burnout.

And remember, the accumulative effect of small, consistent steps can really stack up, helping you to make the future that little bit brighter.

Reminders for well-being during divorce

So, this World Mental Health Day, here are six reminders to look after yourself during divorce and beyond to support your mental well-being.

Put yourself first: Making self-care a daily habit will pay off. Engage in activities that bring you comfort and relaxation, or allow you to clear your mind.

Prioritise movement: Regular exercise is key, even more so if you’re feeling low. Even gentle physical activity releases stress, boosts mood, and supports your mental well-being.

Nourish and hydrate: Maintain a balanced diet to fuel your body and mind. Focus on wholesome foods that provide energy and help stabilise your emotions.

Restorative sleep: Sleep is central to well-being. Establish a calming bedtime routine and create a sleep-conducive environment for rejuvenating rest.

Connection matters: Maintain strong social connections with friends and family. Engage in meaningful conversations and activities that foster a sense of belonging and support.

Reach out: If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. You might also consider reaching out to a divorce coach who can help with tools and guidance for healing.

Loneliness after divorce

It’s natural to experience a degree of loneliness after divorce. But long-term loneliness can have a knock-on effect on mental health.

If you’re dreading the thought of being alone more often, take a look at our tips for overcoming loneliness.

Divorce grief

Grief is an often-overlooked aspect of divorce. With any significant life-altering change comes a period of adjustment and acceptance.

Divorce grief is often described as a hidden grief, which can mean those going through it don’t receive the understanding or support they need, which can isolating. Find out more about divorce grief.

Seek support for mental health

NHS: Find a local urgent mental health helpline in England

Mind: Where to start seeking help for a mental health problem

More useful links

Tips for healing after divorce

How to help someone going through divorce

Divorce talks – Tips for respectful discussions with your ex

Mental health and divorce law

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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