The word self-care gets thrown around a lot these days. Some people hear the term self-care with a more negative connotation: essentially, as an excuse to be selfish. Others see self-care as a necessity – the equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on first before helping someone else. As an attorney, I can tell you that self-care is important not only to my fellow attorneys – but also to my clients. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, divorce is hard for everyone involved. There are no easy answers or fixes when you believe that your family is falling apart. However, some of my best clients are those who have made self-care a priority as they go through this process. Here are some of the best self-care strategies to utilize to deal with the divorce process in a healthier manner.
Lean on your family and friends for support. Call or text them when you’re feeling down. Ask to get together, especially during the times when your children are with their other parent, as that can be a more difficult time during your separation and divorce. Don’t be afraid to ask your family or friends for help while you are learning your new normal. If someone offers to make you a meal, watch your kids, or help you around the house, say yes. Most people are looking for ways that they can actively support you through this transition and let you know that you are not alone.
Take care of your mental health. Divorce is one of the most stressful life changes you will ever go through. Seek a qualified counselor to support your mental health through the transition. Ask your lawyer for recommendations, if needed, as we have many clients who have successfully utilized compassionate, qualified counselors to assist them during separation and after divorce. You can also try meditation or breathing exercises to help you with the difficult emotions you might experience. There are many apps now that provide guided meditations and deep breathing exercises for free or low cost.
Try to get enough sleep, exercise, fresh air, and nourishment for your body. It’s amazing what a walk around the neighborhood can do for your emotional state when you’re in a funk. This is also a great time to try something new like hiking, recreational sports teams, or group exercise classes, which get you out of your normal routines and allow you to meet new people.
TIME TO REFLECT
Say no to overscheduling yourself, establish boundaries with your ex-spouse, and provide yourself with breathing room in your days and weeks ahead to process the range of emotions that you will experience during the dissolution of your marriage.
As you are deciding on co-parenting schedules, whether to sell or keep the marital home, or the logistics of how to pay for two households, know that you don’t have to make every decision immediately. Focus on yourself and put your oxygen mask on first before diving into the decision-making process. You have time to discern what you want to do next. Know that as your attorney, I am here for you every step of the way.
We work hard to make the divorce process as amicable as possible, but inevitably you will need healing along this journey. Engaging in some of the self-care tactics above can help promote healing and encourage you in taking the next steps forward in your new chapter in life.
Lindsey Dasher is the Managing Partner at Dasher Law PLLC