Divorce can be overwhelming. Right now, your world may feel like it is upside down. Keeping your emotions in check and managing stress levels can be difficult. But not keeping a cool head may result in costly/long-lasting mistakes. It’s best to have a strategy for dealing with this emotional rollercoaster. Here are a few things to consider that can help you create a plan of action, not reaction.

Don’t rush

Of course, you want the situation to end as soon as possible. But making rushed decisions is not in your best interest. Settling for a poor deal just to get things over with may be disastrous. So, throughout the process, try to concentrate on responding not reacting. This means dealing with issues, demands, or requests in a logical manner, not an emotional one. So, before responding to anything, try taking some deep breaths and telling yourself to remain calm and peaceful.

Stay healthy

When stressed, it’s easy to forget very basic needs. Poor diet, lack of sleep, alcohol, use of tobacco or more all help fuel increased stress and reduce energy levels.  Don’t get sucked in.

Take care of the inner you

Make it a daily habit to practice some type of stress-reducing activity, such as exercise, deep breathing, journaling, and/or meditation. Additionally, practicing your response to difficult situations can help prepare you for them. Try to visualize a confrontation with your spouse or a court scene and then visualize yourself remaining calm and peaceful throughout the event. Your “practice session” can help you face the real deal.

Be kind to yourself during the process

Take some “me time” after meeting with your attorney or spending time in court. Treat yourself to a massage or lunch with friends where the subject of the divorce and your spouse are off limits. If time or money is an issue, simply plan a walk or a soothing bath—just anything to treat yourself.

Stay busy and have some fun

The more you occupy your mind with things you like to do or with taking care of your family, the less time you have to think about the events taking place. So, make some plans for the movies, a game of tennis, a short trip, anything you like that will help counterbalance the negative emotions and issues.

Seek support

You don’t have to go it alone. Reaching out to friends, family, or religious advisers and talking through your feelings and emotions can be a big help. But, if you cannot stop thinking about the divorce or are getting too angry or too depressed, consider outside help. A therapist can help you deal with your emotions, teach you how to deal with your ex or your family, and show you how to remain calm during stressful situations.

Accept the reality of the situation

You cannot change the facts; divorce is messy and the process is not perfect. It’s going to take some time and a lot of energy. But if you work at keeping your head and take care of yourself, that energy does not all have to be negative. You may just begin to realize that regardless of where you are in the process, you are already on your way to a new beginning.