Few ever feel good during a divorce or separation. At best, it is draining. At worst, it sucks the life out of you. It is one of those things that one goes through to helpfully arrive at a better place.
Once the process of divorce has begun, people realize there is more heavy lifting than anticipated. During the heavy lifting, it is not uncommon to be greeted by anxiety and/or depression. Either can be debilitating and the double whammy can send one for a loop.
An often-missed casualty of the process is self-care, those things you may have done for yourself to provide distraction and recharge your batteries.
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Hopefully during the process, but certainly afterwards, the challenge is to get back into those activities that made you feel good, that promoted your health and well-being.
Sure, being single and especially parenting on one’s own can be life’s new challenge, but therein as one takes care of oneself, recharges those batteries, more comes into place.
It is not selfish to take care of oneself. You don’t have to be all things for your kids either. As the concept goes, a battery on empty has nothing for anything. So too for you.
If the kids are spending time in the company of the other parent, do take opportunity to do for you. While it can look enticing to catch up on laundry, shopping, and the like, catch up on yourself too. Any little thing that makes you feel better (assuming legal and healthy) is fair game.
If the kids are with you on a more full-time basis, consider the help and support of a friend or loved one. Some people actually swap time with each other’s kids to provide that break.
You got a divorce/separation for a reason. Life as it was, wasn’t for you.
This is the time ad opportunity you were looking for. Now is the time to go after it.
In so doing, you are providing a role model of resiliency for your kids. As you say to yourself, you are important, they too get to live by that mantra for themselves.
Get back to feeling your best and living your best life.
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. He is recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead, to over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 600 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.