Most marriages begin as a fairytale, yet not all those fairytales have a happy ending. Some become never-ending nightmares. And for some, the nightmare continues long past a divorce.

Divorce is one of the most painful of life’s events. Regardless of the factors contributing to the divorce, it can be both traumatic and emotional. The end of a marriage can have a significant impact upon your overall attitude towards life. The loss of a relationship can be similar to suffering the death of a family member, with emotional ups and downs, self-doubts and loneliness, as well as health problems.

Stress and anxiety are known to be precursors to health conditions and ailments, making work duties, the raising of children, and managing life’s affairs even more difficult.

Stress can lead to a myriad of health issues such as headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system, digestive problems and other conditions, according to a study published by Science Daily.

There are several healthy coping strategies that can help you through this time of transition:

  1. Journaling. Writing is a great way to express your thoughts and get your feelings off your mind, and onto paper.
  2. Talk about it. Friends are important resources for you during this period. Spend time talking with a friend you trust, who is a good listener and cares about you.
  3. Don’t isolate yourself. Get out there and attend lectures, concerts, events – any event that will take you out into the world and engaged.
  4. Do the things that make you happy. Simple pleasures such as reading a book, gardening, going on walks or other activities that take you out of your home are helpful. Seek out groups that match your interests, and join up.
  5. Get outside and get moving. Exercise is has been proven to be one of the best stress-fighters. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise eases the symptoms of depression, as well as improving your overall health and sense of well-being.

It may be difficult to view a divorce other than as the failure of a marriage. Take the viewpoint that you have the opportunity to create a new life – and you have full power over what you do with it. It is important to remember that your divorce does not define you. Stay focused on what lies ahead, and take advantage of the opportunity to create the life you want. You may be surprised to discover what your future holds – even a new relationship that will bring you joy.

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