How To Deal With Anger During Divorce
Anger is just one of the many emotions you will feel going through divorce. And just when you think you’ve dealt with it, moved on, gotten over it, it circles right back around again! It’s a natural emotion, not one you should dismiss or ignore. But dwelling on it, and letting it consume you isn’t doing you, or your kids, any good.
A little bit of anger can be healthy though, and you can channel your anger into things that will really help, not only with your stress, but your self-esteem too. Here’s some tips for how to deal with your anger during divorce.
One of the best ways to handle anger is to exercise. Anger and stress go hand in hand, and all that adrenaline and cortisol floating around in your system isn’t healthy. Go for a walk out in nature, head to the gym to lift weights, try a boxing class! Using that energy and channeling it into exercise is such a healthy way to manage your anger.
Create an “angry” music playlist. Put together your favourite songs for your mood and have them at the ready for when you feel the anger surge. Then play that music loud, and belt it out! Get your kids in on it and have an impromptu dance party in the living room!
Teach Your Kids
Speaking of kids, this is one of those teachable moments. You can show your kids how you process anger in a healthy way, and that it’s okay to feel those feelings. “Mommy is really angry right now! This is how I deal with my angry feelings!” And then show them…punch a pillow, scream into a pillow, squeeze a stress ball really hard, colour hard with a crayon and paper, sing and dance to loud music.
Clean The House
I do my best house cleaning with I’m in the mood, and it’s usually when I’m “angry cleaning”! Scrubbing toilets, vacuuming, doing dishes. I’ve even cleaned all my windows in a fit of rage one day! Use that energy to be productive! And if there is still “his” stuff in the house, it’s a good time to pack it all up and get rid of it! It’s one of the best ways to overcome the anger of divorce!
Write The Email
It’s sometimes those triggering emails from your ex that just drive you wild with anger. So write the angry email response! Get it all out, take it out on the keyboard, use SHOUTY CAPS! Just don’t send it. At least not until you clear your head or sleep on it. Rarely in those angry moments are you thinking straight, and you don’t want to have regrets. If it helps to write it out using good old fashioned pen and paper, go for it! Burning the letter afterwards is a great therapeutic release! (Please always practise good fire safety though!)
Tip: Don’t put the email address in so you don’t accidentally hit send!
What Not To Do
Anger sometimes can get overwhelming. Those times when you are so enraged that you can’t see straight, your blood is pumping, and you just want to pull your hair out. Remember though that there are really unhealthy ways to handle your anger.
Don’t drink alcohol, use drugs or abuse yourself. While the buzz might feel good for a while, it’s no way to deal with what is happening, it’s only masking it.
Don’t eat your way through it with junk food. Trust me on this one. It will only make you feel worse.
Don’t take it out on your kids. No matter what, it’s never a child’s fault. They didn’t ask to be in this situation any more than you did. And they need you right now, more than ever. If you lose it and yell and scream at them, apologize. Hug them and kiss them and tell them you made a mistake. They will forgive you. I know.
If you feel overwhelmed or at risk of harming yourself or others, please seek help from your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. There are resources in your community that can help. You are not alone.
Letting go of anger during, and after, divorce can be hard. There is bitterness, disappointment and loss all tied up in this big ball of emotions. But remember that your track record for surviving times like these is 100% so far…a good predictor that you’re going to make it through. Don’t let the anger of divorce get the best of you. It’s like drinking poison, hoping the other person dies. The only one that gets hurt in the end is you.
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