Are you considering a divorce or are already in the process of one? Or have you already separated, or have a child custody agreement in place? If so, the coronavirus pandemic and the “stay at home” order issued by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has added more stress on top of what you already were dealing with. How will you handle the divorce stress on top of the stress of the pandemic and quarantine?
- Don’t ignore your mental health: The pandemic and resulting quarantines are having unprecedented impact across the globe. The impact it may have on your mental health is real. Everyone in your household may experience:
- Stay connected: The quarantine may make you feel as if you must deal with your emotions alone, but that isn’t the case. Stay connected with your friends and supportive family members with phone calls and video chat. Ask your therapist if they offer video conference appointments.
- Talk to your kids: Give them age-appropriate answers to any questions they may have for you. Let them know that while there is no definite answer on when life will return to normal that the pandemic will pass.
- Be realistic: Do you and your spouse want to proceed with the divorce or pause the legal process during the pandemic? If you decide to continue, ask your lawyers if video conferencing is an option.
- Focus on the good: It’s easy to overlook silver linings during times of crisis, but so important for your emotional well-being. If you are overwhelmed, stop, breathe and remind yourself that you have more time with your kids, and that your kids have more time with their parents.
Be patient with yourself during this crisis situation. The future is uncertain, and the present may feel overwhelming, but it will pass. Take care of your mental and emotional health and be present for your kids. When the crisis has passed, you’ll be ready to move on to the next chapter of your life.