Experiencing a divorce is one of life’s biggest stressors. Even those who engage in a conscious uncoupling and navigate the process amicably are still dealing with significant life changes and stressors.
Taking care of yourself during a divorce and the transition surrounding it is essential for long-term health and wellness. Here are some practical tips for staying healthy during a divorce.
Learn to Identify Your Feelings
Divorce understandably brings forth a lot of emotions for everyone involved. It may seem silly, but being able to identify those emotions and analyze them is integral for healing and letting go. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a breath and put a label on the emotion. Saying “I am feeling angry” or “I am feeling grief” is a foundational first step for saying, “I need this to heal.”
Developing emotional intelligence and self-awareness will help you chart out your path to healing while preventing damage in the present. It can help you determine which areas of your life are being impacted so that you can create an action plan to fix them.
Nourish Your Body
Consumption habits often change when going through a divorce. Some people facing strong emotions consume excessive amounts of alcohol and unhealthy food in an attempt to cope. Other people struggle to eat when they’re feeling stressed or emotional and fail to give their bodies what they need to stay strong.
Nourish your body with plenty of water and vitamin-rich food. If your partner was the primary cook in the relationship, consider investing in a healthy meal prep service or cooking classes to help you pivot and move forward.
Remember that substances are a temporary numbing agent on a deep, profound emotional issue. Unhealthy consumption habits will lead to further problems than taking the time to feel your feelings.
Delegate to a Trusted Attorney
Going through a divorce is costly. As such, many couples try to navigate the process without legal intervention. According to the experts at the Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, a divorce lawyer in DC, the problem with this strategy is that communication and trust are essential for navigating this process fairly— two traits that aren’t common among divorcing couples.
Working with a trusted attorney allows you to focus on moving forward while navigating the divorce process rather than fixating on the significant to-do list. Your attorney will be by your side to offer unbiased advice with the sole agenda of helping you through the months ahead. This approach is also an effective way to limit communication with your ex-spouse.
Set Boundaries for Yourself and Others
Setting boundaries is a must during the divorce process. Get clear on what you want, and learn to say no to people and events that don’t serve you. Again, the ability to label and process your feelings goes a long way here.
Setting boundaries with others could mean limiting communication or refusing to discuss your relationship and divorce with them. It could mean putting a moratorium on the rumors and speculation about the events and understanding that other opinions don’t matter. Conversely, setting boundaries for yourself could mean limiting alcohol consumption, taking a social media break, and learning not to feel guilty for setting boundaries.
Explore New Passions and Hobbies
Most people have an internal list of things they’d like to try or experience someday, whether it’s learning how to salsa dance or taking up knitting.
Exploring new passions and hobbies during a divorce helps you create separation between who you used to be and who you’re becoming. It’s a positive outlet and a healthy distraction from the negativity of a divorce. Write your list of things to try and start checking them off.
Seek Counseling or Support
Having a support network of family and friends is incredibly beneficial during a divorce. However, it’s also helpful to have unbiased feedback from a third party to help you process your emotions and move forward in a healthy way.
Consider reaching out for counseling or seeking an online support group as you navigate this difficult time. These options offer both professional guidance and a sense of anonymity as you try to determine what comes next for you.
With these practical tips, you can keep your mind and body healthy as you navigate a divorce. You will make mistakes, and some days will be better than others, but these actions can help you move on and let go.