The legal aspect of divorce is very important, and is best handled with the assistance of an experienced attorney. But dealing with the emotions that divorce stirs up is equally vital. Whether your divorce leaves you sad, elated, frightened or none of the above, the experience will likely change you.

We may not be able to control how divorce affects us emotionally, but we can control how we deal with these feelings. Here are some tips for dealing with the transition of ending your marriage, as provided by a psychologist and relationship expert:

  • Turn to your support system. This could include family and friends. Some people in your circle may pull away because they are unsure what to do. You may need to be the first to reach out.
  • Take care of your health. Don’t forget to eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.
  • Meet the “new you.” Reflect on your professional and personal goals are now that you are single. Do you need to go back to work? Do you want to date again, and if so, do you have anyone in mind?
  • Consider professional help. A therapist might help, either for you, your children, or all of you. Book and articles on coping with divorce may also be helpful, though their advice does not work for everyone.

Divorce may not have been something you asked for, but when it occurs, it may be an opportunity for growth. At the same time, it is important that you get everything you are entitled to, including an equitable share of the marital property and time with the kids.