No one will argue that divorce brings added stress to your life but what if what you are feeling is more than the average divorce stress? It is not uncommon for me to hear my clients bemoan the paperwork needed by their attorneys or how overwhelmed they feel with managing work, kids, single life, and the emotions that come with divorce. However, I am always on the lookout for those clients that are headed for physical and mental exhaustion.
So what is the difference? Divorce stress and physical and mental exhaustion have the same symptoms but the degree to which you feel them is your warning sign that you are headed down a dangerous path. If left unchecked, physical and mental exhaustion can take a serious toll on you. This is something that will just not go away on its own, life changes are needed.
Having been through a divorce, I know the mental, emotional and physical demands that one goes through. I am constantly preaching self-care to my clients. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to care for your children or go to work, so what most people put last on their list, I tell them to put that first. Prolonged, excessive stress leads to mental exhaustion which in turn leads to physical exhaustion. I remember days when I felt so tired I could barely walk down the hall, yet I hadn’t done anything physical that day. My fatigue stemmed from my mental and emotional state.
So what are the signs that you are pushing yourself too hard?
- thinking that you just can’t do this anymore, your life is unraveling
- always feeling swamped, overwhelmed
- not caring about anything
- a feeling of hopelessness
- too tired to eat or even talk and all you want to do is sleep
- no motivation at all
- crying, you feel like a basket case
- anxiety attacks
- chronic headaches, feel like you are in a fog, dizziness, nauseous
- can’t sleep
- everything irritates you
- emotionally drained
Your body is shutting down and you absolutely have to stop and take a breather and you have to do it NOW. Of course, if you are like my clients, you will say you can’t possibly slow down at this point in time. My response to that is you can’t afford not to. If you don’t take a few days or even a week now, you will have a breakdown. Here are some things you need to do.
- the minute you recognize these signs, do something about it
- take inventory as to what is the cause and what changes you can do to remove the stressor
- take time to recharge
- eat well
- do relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualization
- journal and write a gratitude list
- seek out a therapist or coach
- lean on family or friends for support
Divorce is hard but compound it with physical and emotional exhaustion and it becomes unbearable. That is when you will start to make bad decisions at a time you need to be on your game. It is imperative that you listen to the whispers of your body before it starts screaming at you.