Surreal landscape with a split road and signpost arrows showing two different courses, left and right direction to choose.

Divorce can bring with it some unexpected changes: emotionally, physically and socially. Resilience, patience and self-compassion are incredibly important at this time.

Clients may need guidance through these experiences, helping not only with the emotional aspects but the physical and social changes that so often run alongside the breakdown of a relationship.

Emotionally, divorce can trigger a rollercoaster of feelings, from grief and anger to relief and acceptance. I encourage individuals to acknowledge and process these emotions, rather than supress them, creating a safe, non-judgemental space to discuss and explore these emotions helping to bring about emotional regulation and healing.

We look at self-care practices such as mindfulness, yoga, journaling, new hobbies, confiding in trusted friends and family members, all of which can help with stress management and promote healthy emotional wellbeing.

Physical changes can manifest in various ways. The emotional stress impacts physiological changes too. The vagus nerve is activated leaving you in a constant “fight or flight” mode, leading to heart palpitations, digestive disturbances and even increased inflammation.

Disrupted sleep, weight loss, muscle tension, dental issues and headaches are also often associated with the stress of divorce. I got very tired of everyone “congratulating” me on my divorce diet! The physiological response the vagus nerve triggers highlights the impact on both the mind and the body.

As a coach I cannot highlight the importance of practising self-care enough. Together we can work on breathing exercises, restoring sleep patterns, implementing gentle movement and exercise into your daily routine and promoting resilience and wellbeing.

It is important to remember that seeking help, whether it be counselling, coaching or from your local GP is never weak; quite the opposite, it shows great strength and a desire to keep going.

Socially divorce can bring about many changes. It is never truer that you discover who your real friends are during times of trouble. Try not to take shifts in friendships personally. Some people feel awkward about supporting you if they have known you both. Others may be going through their own troubles and simply do not have sufficient energy or time to support you. A host of different reasons can seemingly turn away good friends.

Try to surround yourself with friends who offer genuine support and keep you positive.

Keeping your boundaries secure within friendships is helpful, and something I encourage early in the process. Learning to implement healthy boundaries is key throughout your divorce.

Connecting with old friends can be helpful, they knew you before you were married and help to foster a sense of belonging outside the relationship.

Navigating the legal aspects of divorce can be overwhelming. I aim to provide practical guidance and encourage connection with legal professionals, financial advisors, or other relevant experts. Working alongside these professionals and putting a good support team in place is essential for a smoother and less stressful journey.

By having a good support team in place, individuals can regain their sense of empowerment and autonomy. Encouraging the setting of realistic goals whether in terms of career, finances or personal development helps provide a sense of direction for the future.

Learning self-compassion and understanding that forgiveness for your former partner helps healing will allow you to move forward with grace and dignity.

I believe that the divorce process can be less stressful when a holistic approach is used. The emotional, physical and social changes brought about by the breakdown of a relationship can be life-altering. My role is to provide unwavering support, guidance and promote resilience for clients to get through the process with courage, dignity and grace, allowing clients to emerge from divorce stronger, wiser, and more resilient than ever before.

Divorce may well bring about a multitude of changes, but once you learn to accept them and manage them, life on the “other side” can be truly wonderful.

To ensure you have made the right decision for you, I also run a course – “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, this can be taken online, in a group, or as an individual 1:1 course.

Alternatively, please visit my website to find out more about how I might help you.


Written for our Family team’s InSync newsletter by Emma Rees-Davies, divorce coach and friend of the Family team.