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In Illinois and elsewhere, about 40 percent of marriages end in divorce. When those marriages come to an end, it can mean a rocky time in which Illinoisans have to resolve many important questions in a short burst of time, questions like alimony, child custody and property division.

A Gallup study underscores the difficulty of the divorce process. According to the study, divorced individuals scored much lower than married individuals on multiple measures of well-being such as emotional and physical health. Fortunately, these findings are hardly a sentence to unhappiness. Illinoisans can take several steps to improve their well-being during and after divorce.

The first step is to stay connected with people. Keep in touch with friends, especially close friends who can serve as a support group. And reach out to people who have gone through a divorce. These “veterans” can listen and help provide perspective.

Second, Illinoisans need to take care of themselves before they help others. Divorcing parties cannot be there for their children if they are sick, tired and irritable. To avoid that, Illinoisans should eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and do fun things that will recharge their batteries.

And, third, keep things light. Negativity can set off a downward spiral not only because of the harmful mental effects of negativity, but also because it may push family, friends and co-workers away just when they are needed most.

In addition to these three tips, Illinoisans can reduce their burden by partnering with an experienced family law attorney. An experienced attorney can guide divorcing parties through the divorce process, develop realistic solutions and negotiate agreements that meet their needs for the present and future.

Source: Huffington Post, “3 Ways To Stay Healthy During Divorce,” Barbara Greenberg, Dec. 23, 2013