10 Ways to Care for Yourself After Divorce


life after divorce

When I became a single mom, I wanted to figure out how to be the best “me” possible. I wanted to take care of myself so my daughter would have a strong mom to look up to. One of the memorable moments of clarity came to me when someone said, “You need to get on with your stability!” The word ‘stability’ grabbed my attention. With all the pain and loss we were going through it changed my focus from broken to stable.

Research shows that one can regain stability two years post-divorce. The bad news is that the first year will be THE hardest year ever; each “first” will carry an emotional weight that is unfamiliar and often very difficult. The good news is that after the first year, the pain, anxiety and emotional exhaustion can begin to subside as one gets into a healthy rhythm of their new life. Self-care is critical every day of each year. {Tweet This} Here are ten ways to care for yourself in your life after divorce.

Emotionally:

1. Seek out a safe and healthy person to talk to on a regular basis. This could be a therapist, a coach, a pastor or a well-trusted friend. This person doesn’t “add to” the pain but listens with wisdom and love. Don’t isolate yourself and try to survive alone. We are made for community and healing happens best when we walk with others on the path.

2. Consider attending DivorceCare or a small group for divorce adjustment. You might also think about attending a group with your local church.

3. Be aware if you find yourself feeling depressed. Make sure to talk to your counselor or doctor. Often one needs extra care for the first year or two post-divorce.

4. Make a “fun plan” when kids are away instead of spending the time alone.

5. Pick one or two activities to do with your children that will help you bond. Explore activities with your children that do not include electronics or television; find something active and life-giving to do with them, no matter what ages they are. The laughter and the memories of this time will add to the well-being you experience together.

Physically:

6. Get regular sleep and if you find yourself struggling in this area, talk to your doctor to be sure you have explored all the natural or additional resources needed to maintain a regular sleep cycle.

7. Walk! Make a point to get outside 2-3 times a week for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or local park. Simply being in the sunshine helps with Vitamin D as well as getting your cardio system going. Consider using some of your walking time as an opportunity to talk with God.

8. Try a new activity like bowling, swimming, yoga, or biking. Push yourself outside your comfort zone and try something new until you find at least one fun activity that you truly enjoy!

9. Eating healthy has priceless rewards for everyone. Enjoying a relaxed, healthy dinner at the table with the children several times a week will feed your body and your souls.

10. Slow down. Children need their time with you and that often can get overlooked when transitioning after divorce. Guard and protect your health and the health of the children; instead of fast food and shallow conversation aim to have long talks over healthy meals that kids help prepare together as an important part of your routine. Keep the TV and media devices off during this time.

What one thing can you do to enjoy the journey of creating a new and stable version of life for yourself and your children?

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