Going through a divorce can be an extremely stressful time for all involved. For mothers, there’s the added stress of helping children navigate their emotions while maintaining the appearance of strength and support. As a result, self-care practices are often put on the back burner during a divorce.
Prioritizing self-care during such a stressful time is of utmost importance.
Here are some small but effective ways to practice self-care during a divorce.
Know Your Facts and Rights
When it comes to a legal battle, there is comfort in the known. That’s why knowing how things are going to go and your rights throughout the process are the first step to prioritizing a self-care mindset. For example, knowing that you can start the divorce proceedings even if you live under the same roof can reduce some of the stress of knowing that someone has to find a new place to live (source: https://clw.com.au/family-law/divorce-lawyers-sydney/).
Once you know your rights and obligations, you can take control over aspects of the situation in which control is possible, and start to let go of the things that are out of your control. By focusing on what you can change and control, you’ll start the important process of de-stressing and being you-centric.
Avoid Excess Alcohol
While the occasional glass of wine while taking a bubble bath or eating popcorn and watching Scandal reruns can be cathartic, it’s easy to start tipping over into excess drinking during times of extreme stress. It’s especially important to be mindful of drinking during a divorce for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, it’s not good for the body or the mind. Secondly, too much alcohol removes one’s inhibitions and may give you the boost you need to make that nasty phone call which will be embarrassing in the morning and could be used against you in a custody battle.
So, to practice self-care during a divorce, enjoy a glass of merlot in the bath or a couple of mimosas with friends over brunch– don’t start drinking alone and in sadness.
Get Out of the House
You may not be feeling overly social during a divorce, causing you to cancel play dates and want to stay around home. However, it’s important to get out and get some fresh air. Now is a great time to start taking that cooking class you’ve always been interested in or signing up for art lessons.
You can practice self-care while getting the kids out of the house too. Go to a local trail for a hike and a picnic or curl up with a cup of coffee and a book while at the playground. Remember to unplug and unwind.
Nutrition and Exercise Matter
Nutrition and exercise play an important role in how your body and mind cope with a stressful situation. As stress can wreak havoc on your immune system, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need to be healthy. Exercise has a few benefits, namely improving your overall health and releasing endorphins that help boost your mood.
Planning meals and learning more about nutrients also gives you something positive to focus on, while starting a training regimen can boost confidence and help with socialization. While it’s important not to venture too far from the regular routine during a divorce, creating healthy habits is a great way to fill some of the gaps in the schedule.
Needless to say, divorce is an inherently negative time in someone’s life. Taking a positive outlook can be downright impossible sometimes. While it may take a long time to look at divorce as a positive event, it’s important not to let the negativity seep into other areas of your life. Reframe your negative thoughts into positive thoughts and shift your focus.
Practicing positive thinking, in combination with caring for your body and mind, will help you stay healthy and strong during this challenging period of your life.