6th November 2020
Going through a divorce or separation at any time can be stressful and difficult to deal with emotionally. Inevitably, as we start a second national lockdown in the UK, there will be separating couples across the country who may be struggling.
Whether you are at the early stages of considering leaving your relationship or are already going through the legal process, the added pressures of lockdown and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Even if you have been separated for some time, living alone during lockdown can be very challenging.
Often those going through the breakdown of a relationship rely on the emotional support of their friends and family and even work colleagues. But without the ability to meet up with loved ones or see colleagues in the workplace as you would usually, it can feel very isolating to be going through something difficult alone. It can be vary hard to switch off from your concerns without the welcome relief of meeting up with friends, going to the gym or taking part in leisure activities.
#1 Remember You Are Not Alone
Whilst it can feel incredibly isolating, take a moment to realise that there are many people across the world at the moment who are feeling the same emotions that you are. The overall morale of the UK may be low as a result of the global pandemic, but it is important to try to look for the positives in every day and remain optimistic for the future. We might not all be in the same boat, but we are in the same storm.
#2 Reach Out and Get Support
In the absence of social events and seeing people physically, make sure you pick up the phone and keep connected to people who can offer you support or have the ability to boost your mood. If you have not already done so, now might be the time to set up some WhatsApp groups to keep in touch or organise some virtual meetings, such as quiz nights or games nights via Zoom. Do not suffer alone in silence. Confide in a trusted friend or family member or try joining some support groups or online forums. If you are really struggling to keep your head above water and need some additional support, then contact your GP or a counsellor, who can guide you. If you are formally separating or thinking about it, then seek specialist advice from a family lawyer to understand your position.
#3 Exercise Regularly
Many people count on exercise to help their mental health and keep physically active. Remember the importance to keep moving during lockdown. In the absence of gyms or group exercise classes, try online programmes, home equipment or getting outside for a run or walk. Fresh air can really help clear your mind and give you some breathing space.
It may sound simple and ‘take a deep breath’ is often thrown out as a comment when people are stressed or upset. But taking a deep breath can work wonders. Research shows that controlled breathing techniques are effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 8 (or whatever you can manage, as long as the out breath is longer than the in breath) can help to cool down, reduce blood pressure, slow heart rate, reduce stress, relieve pain and improve energy levels.
#5 Give Yourself a Break
Recognise that it is perfectly normal and acceptable for you to feel overwhelmed / angry / sad / bitter / confused / lonely when you are going through major life changes in the midst of a global pandemic. It would be unrealistic to cope with what life is throwing at you 100% of the time. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel all the emotions – just try to manage them in a healthy way.
#6 Avoid Further Conflicts
When you are struggling with your emotions it can be easy to find yourself in conflict with your ex-partner over small issues. Focus on what is really important and try to pick your battles wisely to avoid adding more onto your plate than you really need to. This does not mean surrendering but taking your time to consider how to approach any disputes or difficult conversations, in order to get the best result.
#7 Take Time For Yourself
It is important to take time for some self-care when you are going through difficult times. Use the time you have over the coming weeks to do things that help you to unwind or make you happy. From having a relaxing bath, reading a book or binge watching a TV series to cooking, exercising or starting a new hobby.
It may feel like the world has come to a standstill again, but it does not mean that you separation or divorce has to come to a halt. Lawyers are still working, and the courts remain open. Many meetings are being held virtually and of course, some delays may be unavoidable, but you can very much still press forward with your divorce during lockdown or use the time to get yourself prepared.
If you are looking for some advice on divorce or need help resolving conflicts involving separation or children, then please get in touch with our specialist Family Law Team today who will be happy to assist.
Call us on 01256 844888, email email@example.com or speak to our online chat assistant who is available 24/7.
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Co-Parenting Through a Pandemic
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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