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Stress Management Tools

Are Law Suits Stressful?

Yes, family lawsuits can be very stressful. Going through a legal battle is always stressful, and it’s stressful for everyone involved, not just the parties! The lawyers get stressed out, witnesses are stressed out and judges would prefer the parties to settle the case on their own! Whether you are getting a divorce, worried about paying child support, trying to enforce your visitation and time-sharing, or just got married and need to relocate with your new spouse, going to court is never easy.

The Grieving Process

When a party decides to file for divorce, it generally means this person has already gone through the grieving process of losing the relationship and the marriage is over. Frequently, the opposing party is unaware that the marriage is over and is often just beginning the grieving process when he or she gets served with divorce papers. There are five stages to the grieving process: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. These five stages are not necessarily linear and a person can go through all of these emotions multiple times and not in any particular order.

Several factors can make the grieving process even more difficult. For instance, let’s say a wife is just learning that her husband has found someone else, moved out, and filed for divorce. If this wife is dependent on the husband for her support, the grieving process can be more difficult. She is not only grieving over the loss of the marriage, but she is also grieving over a possible loss of her financial security. Similarly, if this husband decides he wants custody or majority time-sharing, the added grief of possibly losing time with her children can add layers of stress. Dealing with stress in a healthy way is essential during a divorce.

How Can I Reduce My Stress Levels?

The good news is that there are innumerable ways to reduce and release stress. What follows is a laundry list of stress busters: exercise, sleep, improved diet, prayer or meditation, gardening, recreation, community service, counseling, a "to-do" list, learning a new skill, developing a new hobby, and overall increased self-care. If you can develop an exercise program while going through a lawsuit, you’ll get several benefits. Working up a sweat helps release toxins and it’s a way to release anger. It’s also a way to release feel-good hormones in the body. And then, there’s always that sense of self-satisfaction after finishing a good workout. Getting enough sleep is important but at the same time elusive when you’re stressed out over alimony or fighting over custody.

I have first-hand knowledge of how difficult it is to sleep during a divorce! There are all kinds of tricks out there to help you sleep - taking a hot bath before bed, herbal tea before bed, yoga or prayer before bed, reading a "sleeper" before bed. Getting enough sleep is important for your health and for coping with the added stress of a lawsuit. Improving your diet, regular exercise, enjoying some recreation, and getting enough sleep all fall under the category of self-care. When you’re involved in a lawsuit, put extra care into you and your life. You not only deserve it — you need it. My personal stress buster is working in my gardens. I get fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and bountiful harvests!