Coping with divorce is never easy, but it’s something 40-50 percent of all couples in the U.S. face at some point. And while there are many factors to every split, individuals who are living with a disability share the fact that the dissolution of a marriage can take a toll mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you have children, the stress of navigating a divorce while figuring out how best to care for the kids—and doing it without daily help from a partner—may be overwhelming.
It’s important to find some resources that will help you get through this tough time, and it’s equally important to take care of yourself. It can be difficult to think about when you have so much to do and manage, but self-care is imperative in reducing stress and staying healthy. And as a parent, you need to be your best self in order to provide for your children.
Here are some tips on how to navigate a divorce when you’re living with a disability.
Having support from friends and family has never been more important, so talk to them about what your needs are and how they can help. You might ask one person to help with picking up your children from school, while someone else can assist in getting you moved into a new place. Divorce comes with lots of change, so the more familiar people you have around to help, the better.
As an individual with a disability, you are likely entitled to some benefits, and there other resources that can help you with daily tasks and funding. Do some research to ensure that these benefits will continue uninterrupted after the divorce. If you have been ordered by the court to pay child support, your state or federal benefits may change, but there are some options depending on which state you live in. Look online or talk to your case worker about how to plan for your finances.
Get some help
With so much to think about and take care of during a divorce, it’s important to find ways to make life easier. Depending on the nature of your disability, you may become tired easily or have trouble carrying out daily tasks on your own, so look for help where you can find it, such as hiring a dog walker to come and take your dog for walks. You might also think about boarding him for a brief period if you’ll be moving. This way, you can ensure he’s safe during all the activity and keep him from becoming anxious due to the changes.
Taking care of yourself is so important during a difficult time. This can mean different things to different people, but for an individual with a disability, it might mean getting adequate rest, exercising daily, taking medication as prescribed, and not engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse is common for many people during a divorce because it numbs the emotional pain, but in the long run, it only makes things worse. Look for healthy ways to cope, such as practicing a hobby or learning a new one, and ask for help when you feel you need it. Click here for more tips on self-care.
Coping with a divorce is never easy, but with the support of your loved ones and a good plan for the near future, you can get through it. Remember to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health every day and keep communication open with your loved ones so they’ll know how best to support you.