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5 Tips to Help You Through a Divorce

By: Christina ("Christy") O’Brien, Esquire

Getting a divorce can be a traumatic experience, no matter if you want the divorce or not. Emotions are often out of control and all over the place. As a divorce attorney for over 15 years, below are some practical tips I share with my clients to help them through the process:

  1. Have a support group. Whether it is just your family and friends or a divorce care group at church, have people in your immediate circle you can talk to and rely upon. These folks will be there to listen, take you out for a drink, or watch your children. It is comforting to have a few friends that have been through a divorce and who can help you understand and give you advice along the way.
  2. Begin (or continue) an exercise routine. Exercise helps your body produce feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. It also increases self-confidence, improves sleep and reduces symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Any type of physical movement counts as exercise: dancing, walking, yoga, swimming. The most important part, though, is finding something you enjoy doing so you will be likely to repeat it on a regular basis.
  3. Consider professional therapy. Divorce is a stressful event in a person’s life, and even the most mentally healthy person may need the help of a professional. A professional therapist will allow you to vent, give you suggestions on coping and healing and ultimately help you to learn about yourself.
  4. Keep a consistent routine. Try to stick to your normal schedule. Consistency is important for your emotional health. Show up on time to work and keep yourself and your children on the same bedtime schedule.
  5. Learn something new. Take pro-active steps to associate this chapter of your life with something new and exciting. Start a new hobby, join a new club, learn a new language, take a cooking class, start practicing yoga, join a softball league, or learn to fix things around your house. Whatever you choose, it will take your mind off of the divorce and give you confidence.

The main thing to remember is to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. Try to do something for yourself every day, whether it is to take a bubble bath, read a book, get a latte, watch a movie, or take a walk alone after dinner. You can and will get through this difficult chapter of your life feeling stronger than ever.

About the Author

Christina "Christy" O’Brien concentrates her practice in the areas of Divorce, Marital and Family Law. More specifically, her family law practice includes dissolution of marriage (divorce), custody, paternity, child support, domestic violence injunctions, post-judgment modifications and dependency issues. Christy understands that these types of cases can be highly emotionally charged, especially when there are children involved, and she will develop a parenting plan or marital settlement agreement that is tailored to the needs of each individual family.

Christy serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida, Lee County Legal Aid Society, and Fort Myers American Little League. She is a former member of the Association of Family Law Professionals and Family Resource Center of Southwest Florida Board of Directors.

Christy can be reached at christina.obrien@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1279.