It is an unprecedented time for couples around the world as the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic continues to alter life as they know it. If you are dealing with anxiety related to COVID-19 on top of the stress of a divorce, you might feel like you are floundering. Luckily, help is available. You are not alone in how you feel – nor do you have to tackle a difficult divorce case by yourself during the pandemic. Help from the right professionals, plus a few unwinding techniques, could help you get through this tough time.
Make Your Health and Well-Being a Top Priority
It can be easy to overlook your needs in the midst of a pandemic…especially if you are a parent. It is normal to put your children first. While it is important to ensure the well-being of your kids, make time for self-care as well. You cannot give your children your best version of yourself if you are feeling anxious, stressed or worn out because of the coronavirus or your divorce. Do what you can to take some time for yourself, even if it is only 15 minutes a day.
For instance, take time in the morning, before your kids are awake, to read or write in a journal. Try self-care techniques such as taking a bath, using a relaxing face mask, exercising at home or connecting with friends (virtually, of course). Do something you enjoy for at least a few minutes a day to fill your cup before you try to fill the cups of others. Even if you only have time to think of a few things you are grateful for each day, this habit can help carry you through quarantine, a divorce, job loss and many other challenges that may feel insurmountable.
The coronavirus does not have to interfere with your ability to speak to a mental health professional. If you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed or simply like you need to talk to someone, you have many different online options available. Set up an online therapy program such as Talkspace or Betterhelp to speak to a real licensed therapist over live chat and video conferencing. You can speak to a specialist for a variety of mental health needs without leaving your home. Do not wait to get the help you need from a professional, especially if you are also dealing with the added stress of a divorce during COVID-19.
Focus On Your Children
Once you take care of yourself, you will be better equipped to take care of others. When pressures involving your job, loss of a job, finances or your divorce feel overwhelming, focus on your children. Create a routine to help your kids have greater stability during this uncertain time. A routine can also give you some respite during your day while your kids are occupied with online lessons or homework.
Do your best to keep life as normal as possible for your children. Try not to argue with your spouse in front of the kids or take out the stress of your divorce on them. If you are concerned for the safety of your children in a domestic violence or abuse situation, reach out to a national hotline or your family law attorney for immediate assistance. An attorney can help you with emergency protection orders to help ensure your child’s safety and well-being.
Seek Help From a Professional
COVID-19 might prolong your divorce timeline. Try not to let it get to you. Divorce is a big decision you should not rush. The extra time might even have positive effects, such as giving you and your spouse a chance to cool down enough to agree on the terms of your divorce rather than having to go to trial. Stay in touch with your legal team. Contact your divorce lawyer and ask for regular updates if he or she is continuing your divorce case virtually. Staying in the know could help you combat stress and anxiety related to your divorce. Speaking with your lawyer can also help you realize you are not alone during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it feels like it sometimes.