Divorce

Self-Care While Going Through a Divorce

divorce-separation-marriage-breakup-split-39483The latest figures show that global divorce rates continue to be on the rise. Across Europe and the United States, average divorce rates range between 42%-65%. No matter how amicable the split may be, there are many stressful steps to a divorce. It is not uncommon for the process to cause feelings of anxiety and depression. This is especially true if an individual is not looking out for his or her wellbeing in the steps leading up to the divorce being granted.

If you are going through or will be going through a divorce, self-care is of top-importance. While some may consider the term “self-care” to refer to luxury and pampering, it simply refers to the practice of taking care of one’s self. Explore three must-do self-care strategies for individuals who are going through a divorce.

Ensure that you are getting plenty of sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest, especially during stressful times. In addition to feeling drowsy and tired throughout your day, a lack of sleep can have many other consequences. Over the long-term, it can put you at risk for “high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.” In addition to these serious risks, sleep deprivation can impair your ability to think clearly, dulls the skin, causes mood swings, and can cause you to gain weight. To avoid these health challenges, experts recommend that you get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you are not able to realistically achieve this, work toward getting proper rest on as many nights as you can, especially during the most stressful parts of the divorce.

Regularly schedule time to practice a hobby

Since many of your days can be focused on signing papers, court hearings, and various disputes, it is crucial to have a healthy hobby to take your mind off of things. Whether you enjoy reading, crafts, baking, drawing, or journaling, choose one or more hobbies in which you can distract yourself from time to time. Hobbies have been shown to help individuals relieve stress, increase mindfulness, promote overall physical health, deliver new and fun experiences, and boost self-confidence. To ensure that you are taking advantage of these benefits, schedule at least a few hours in each week to practice your favorite hobby/hobbies.

Don’t skip regular exercise

Even when an individual isn’t going through stressful times, exercise is a key component of one’s health. Physical activity of all kinds offers loads of benefits, including a boost to your mood, maintenance of a healthy weight, enhanced energy levels, improved cognitive function, lowered risk of chronic illness, and improved sleep quality. As you can imagine, these benefits are even more valuable while going through the stress of a divorce. At minimum, plan to practice your favorite form of exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Both low-impact activities (e.g. walking, yoga) and high-intensity workouts will deliver much of the same benefits.

For nearly every person who goes through the process, divorce marks a stressful time in one’s life. To reduce the impact of the associated stressors, practicing self-care is an absolute must. By ensuring that you are getting proper sleep, choosing to regularly engage in a favorite hobby, and getting routine exercise, you can fight off the negative effects of any stress you experience.

Author of this article, Lucy Davis,  runs  The Divorce Club  www.divorceclub.com     an online support network for people going through divorce and separation.   There are fun events scheduled (check their web site).  Wendi’s Note: The Divorce Club in London is a great way to meet others who are going through similar experiences. Wisdom and laughter are shared at Lucy’s get-togethers through this MeetUp.com group.