Divorces and legal separations can be among the most stressful and aggravating of processes to go through. Handling the legal and financial side of the separation, battling over child custody, and bearing the prospect of now living a life without your once-beloved can all take a heavy toll on your emotional well-being. Physical and mental health are both at risk during the stressful divorce process. In the midst of all the changes one may be going through, it is important to not neglect the focus on one’s own personal self-care needs. Here are some helpful ways to improve your self-care during a divorce.
1. Share the Burden
Separation is always a highly painful and stress-filled process, especially when children, pets, or other family members are involved. The emotional burden involved could be too much for any single person to bear alone.
Seeking out and talking to someone who you trust can go a long way in helping you mentally recover from the impact of a divorce process. It could be a family member, a close friend, or your therapist. Good support would be a person who can empathize with what you are going through and validate your feelings.
Talking out your emotions is cathartic – provides you with a sense of relief and helps discharge some of the pain. Talking can also help in other ways; the experience of hearing ourselves can allow us to think better and discover solutions to overcome the terrible situation we might otherwise be stuck in.
2. Take Your Time
Divorce is no small chapter in one’s life – it takes time for any individual to heal from the separation from a spouse. Yet, after a divorce, a lot of people make the mistake of quickly resuming back into their daily routines without considering their own wellbeing.
A period of introspection is a necessary step in the healing process and one that you shouldn’t neglect. Take the time to think about why the divorce occurred and what you can do to prevent a repeat of such a situation in the future. Returning back to your normal everyday life is easier when you have built a new, more solid foundation to start it on.
3. Avoid Negative Behavior
When we are emotionally overwhelmed, it can be really difficult for us to not engage in negative behavior, be it reacting strongly to others with anger and outbursts, isolating ourselves, or engaging in substance abuse. Mental clarity is key to navigating the stressful time of the divorce process.
However, doing so can make the already stressful situation even worse. It is exactly in the toughest chapters of our life we are in the greatest need to show calm and maturity. By abstaining from partaking in any negative behavior, it would make the process of fully recovering from the separation far easier.
Be sure to also avoid gossiping about your ex with others or completely estrange yourself with them, especially if you have children, and you both need to co-parent them.
4. Don’t Shy From Asking Others for Help
A divorce can bring with it drastic changes in one’s life, and the person can suddenly find themselves in need of help with a lot of things. Such could be tasks and chores that previously their spouse would take care of or were things that they couldn’t do alone by themselves.
While individuality and independence are certainly a prized trait, there is nothing wrong with asking others, such as your neighbors, close friends, or family members, to help with your stuff as you slowly adjust to your new life. Attempting to do everything yourself immediately after separation would only add to your stress and make your life even more miserable.
5. Look After Your Body
When one is stressed out and find themselves thrown into a new, uncertain life, it can be easy to forget about attending to the basic needs of the body. Mental and physical health is fundamentally linked. Neglecting the former would only worsen the condition of the latter.
Eating healthy, regular exercise, and giving your body ample time for rest is essential towards the goal of self-healing. By taking good care of your body, you will find it easier to recover from negative feelings and again take control over your life.
6. Practice Meditation
Chronic stress and worry can weaken the body and leave you feeling tired and sick. In such a state, it can feel difficult to even partake in basic chores, let alone deal with the aftermath of a divorce. Practicing meditation techniques such as mindfulness can help you clear your mind of worries and bring it back into a calm, stable state. Only with your sense of mental well-being restored can you cease the initiative to turn your life around. Meditation techniques are a great tool for maintaining a healthy mind and body during a divorce.
7. Practice Self-Compassion
A separation can really cause damage to a person’s self-esteem and leave them feeling negative about themselves. This is why practicing self-compassion is so important. Just as you would do a friend in a similar situation, treat yourself kindly, engage in positive, motivational self-talk, and appreciate the fact that such events in life can happen to anyone.
8. Seek Out Counseling
If divorce has been heavy on you, the same could be the situation for your former spouse. It is a misconception that counseling is only meant for couples looking to repair their broken relationship. It can also be helpful for both parties engaged in a divorce proceeding to help end their marriage on cordial terms and allow them to be good co-parents after. A support group can be helpful during the process of divorce by connecting you with people struggling with similar issues.
9. Start Writing
Writing is a highly therapeutic activity, one that helps bring relief to your mind and puts your thoughts at ease. During and after a divorce, all sorts of thoughts and feelings might be rushing through your head. By writing them down can help you better track them down and establish some sense of order. When you write down your worries, fears, and memories, they can suddenly have less of an impact on the mind, helping you become more at ease and heal faster.
10. Nurture Your Social Connections
Letting go of the person that you are emotionally attached to and have spent years with can be punishing. However, a separation does not mean a life of lonely existence. You still have your friends, family, and others, and a divorce could actually be a good opportunity to strengthen these relationships further.
Going through with the process of legally separating can certainly be emotionally demanding. However, it becomes much easier if you have a wider network of healthy relationships that you can count on to lend their support in your time of vulnerability.
Work with a Divorce Attorney
The logistic side of a divorce process can be highly strenuous for both parties involved, especially coupled with the heavy emotional toll it entails. At Brighter Day Law, where our mantra is “Finding Peace Through Strength,” we fully understand our clients’ legal needs while also respecting the emotional transition they’re going through. Our experienced family law attorneys know how to handle your divorce and will guide you step by step throughout the entire process.
If you are situated in Colorado and are looking to file a divorce, get in touch with our team of qualified lawyers to help you better manage through the difficult process. To schedule a free consultation with one of our divorce lawyers or for any queries, (719) 225-4443, or contact us online.