Taking Care of Yourself During a Divorce

Updated on March 8, 2021
Updated: January 17, 2023

When going through the divorce process it’s natural to feel sad, disappointed, hopeless, and even betrayed. Everything you believed and hoped for became lost. You don't know what to do and you may wonder what the future will bring. Thus, taking care of yourself during a divorce essential. While this might not be what you want to do, it’s a crucial step towards recovery after divorce.

How Do I Take Care of Myself During a Divorce?

Filing for divorce can be one of the difficult times in your life--even when you and your spouse work together amicably, divorce is often a traumatizing experience. So, you must take care of yourself during this tough time. Many people put on a brave face and wait for the storm to pass. However, by acknowledging your feelings and setting aside time to be on your own, you can start the recovery after divorce.

Lean on Your Love One’s

Hopefully, you have reliable family members and friends who can provide emotional support during this stressful time. You may be wary of burdening those close to you with your feelings, but chances are, they want to be there for you. Most people don’t know what to say when a loved one is getting divorced, so don’t be afraid to tell your loved ones what you need. Reach out to those close to you if you need someone to vent to, if you need to get out of the house and get a breath of fresh air, or if you want support during a meeting with your divorce lawyer. Spend time with people you love and reach out to old friends.

Schedule Time to Take Care of Your Physical Health

Most people forget their physical health during divorce; the emotional trauma you’re going through may overwhelm your body’s needs to eat, move, and sleep. Thus, if you’re going through “the divorce diet”--barely eating, set a reminder on your phone to remind you to take meals. Take walks regularly. If you have some bottled anger to let out, kickboxing or another physically demanding exercise could be perfect for you. 

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

Divorce without a doubt puts tremendous mental strain on a person. There are tons of ways you can nurture your emotional and mental health during a divorce. If you’re having trouble processing or handling your feelings, see a counselor who can help you navigate through this transition. Also, visit the library and read books on healing from divorce and discovering yourself.

Take Up A New Hobby

During the divorce process, sign up for something new. Sign up for a horse riding class. Despite the fear of falling, maneuvering a horse is so empowering. Also, the connection of being around horses is very healing. Being around animals will fill you with love and joy. 

However, if you’re not a horse person, there are so many activities out there, and probably there are things you wanted to do, but never had the time. This is your opportunity. Sign up for a sewing or crotcheting class. Go skydiving or rock climbing. Try meet-up groups; there are meet-up groups for any activity under the sun.

divorce self-care

Doing something new reprograms your brain. It creates new neural pathways, which is very healing. As a bonus, you will meet new people while doing these new activities. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, and this will help you create new memories and experiences. 

Be Kind Towards Yourself

Probably you aren’t used to it, but now is the time to be compassionate to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting over your ex-spouse quickly. Allow yourself to be in this limbo and honor your tempo of the grieving process. Acknowledge where you’re and accept that you’re feeling sad, disappointed, hopeless, and betrayed. Being mindful of where you’re will help you move to where you want to be.

What are the Five Stages of Divorce?

The five stages of divorce are Physical separation, cognitive separation, spiritual separation, legal dissolution, and emotional divorce. Until you recover emotionally from your divorce, the physical connection might continue, thus keeping you “married” to your former spouse years after the formal divorce. 

  1. Cognitive separation. This not only involves deciding to get a divorce, but it also involves the setting of intention, which precedes the actual decision. The cognitive separation follows a period of unhappiness and frustration. Once you verbalize the decision, your coping behavior and the crisis that you will experience depends on how prepared you’re. 
  2. Physical separation. This stage involves couples separating physically, however, spouses might continually reunite until the emotional divorce is complete.
  3. Legal dissolution. This refers to socio-economic and cultural separation. Legal separation can be a long and contentious battle, especially when couples are angry. This shows their inner conflict and inability to separate, and trying to hold on to the marriage, while at the same trying to get divorced.
  4. Spiritual separation. The spiritual connection between spouses is often difficult to severe, and it remains following the emotional separation.
  5. Emotional divorce. Emotional separation involves severing dependent and romantic aspects of the marriage and mourning. This stage involves disengagement, understanding why you choose your spouse, why you stayed, adjusting role definitions and family expectations, and acknowledging the “dance” you do over and over that doesn’t work. Emotional growth comes from taking responsibility for the marital woes instead of blaming your spouse and finally changing that “dance.” This means seeing your spouse clearly and risking new behaviors because you’re changing the dance steps and refusing to do the old routine. Even though emotional separation is different for everyone. This includes passive spouses getting angry, doing something important for yourself despite your spouse’s objections, refusing to tolerate unacceptable behavior from your spouse that you’ve complained about forever, refusing to do something you felt obligated to do, but always hated doing, or taking a solo vacation. Thus, in emotional separation, people become different because they have a choice of new responses and behaviors. It gradually breaks the marital structure, allowing physical and legal separation to happen more smoothly.

Divorce is a difficult and overwhelming process, but you can make it easier by trusting a legal professional with your legal needs. At Tommalieh Law, we meet our clients’ legal needs while respecting the emotional transition they’re going through. We can help you get a fair outcome from your divorce case. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our Orland Park family law office today at (708) 232-0017, or chat with us online to learn how we can help. 

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